Europe’s Ryder Cup team will wear yellow ribbons this week to honour Spanish golfer Celia Barquin, a 22-year-old college champion who was stabbed to death last week in America, captain Thomas Bjorn said Tuesday.
Upon each ribbon was written in red the name of Barquin, who died in Ames, Iowa, where she was named Iowa State University female athlete of the year after winning the Big 12 Conference golf title.
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The ribbon and inscription used the colours of the Spanish flag as a mark of respect for a player who appeared set to join the LPGA Tour and who was killed while playing golf. A homeless man, Colin Richards, has been charged with her murder.
Among those who paid tribute to Barquin last week were Spanish Ryder Cup team members Sergio Garcia, last year’s Masters winner, and Jon Rahm.
“The golfing family extends way beyond what we are trying to do this week,” Bjorn said. “Those events in America with Celia being killed playing golf, is something that has hit everybody in the golf family, and obviously our two Spanish players very much.”
Europe’s Ryder Cup team contacted Miriam Barquin, Celia’s mother, to express support for the family. Miriam Barquin said she was “proud and humbled” by the gesture, according to a team statement, mentioning she and her daughter talked about the Ryder Cup in their final conversation.
“We felt that, after a conversation between Ryder Cup Europe with Celia’s mother, we would honour her this week,” Bjorn said.
“That’s what we are doing, and it’s nothing about us, but it’s just more about the fact that the golfing family gets touched by these things all over the world. It’s terrible when things like this happen.
“Such a great prospect for the game of golf, she was, but also a wonderful person. And when you speak to Sergio and Jon about it, they both couldn’t talk highly enough about her. We felt like that was appropriate for the week.”
Yellow ribbons will be available for players on the US and European teams to wear throughout the week. Wives and partners of the players will wear yellow roses during Thursday’s opening ceremony in another tribute.
It’s the second Ryder Cup in a row marked by players in mourning.
In 2016 at Hazeltine, the golf world mourned the death of Arnold Palmer, the American golf icon who died on the eve of Ryder Cup week at age 87. Palmer won seven major titles and was a member of seven triumphant US Ryder Cup squads.