At 87, Gary Player will be one of the honorary starters of the Augusta Masters next week, but his recent statements to the Daily Mail newspaper are likely to cause talk on the side of Magnolia Lane. Besides the long-awaited former winners’ dinner, whose menu was put together by the current world number 1, Scottie Scheffler, and the par 3 competition on Wednesday, one of the highlights of the first Major of the season is the famous unofficial kickoff of the tournament, given on Thursday morning since 1963 by the honorary starters.
After the death of Lee Elder, Tom Watson joined Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player last year.
Gary Players, results
However, after his declarations last week to the Daily Mail in which Gary Player explains that the Masters is only the 4th Major in his eyes, it is not certain that the legendary South African golfer will receive a warm welcome from the members of Augusta.
I put The Open in first by far, the Us Open in two, the PGA in three and Augusta in fourth place. These are four wonderful tournaments. Augusta is the youngest Major. The others are steeped in tradition and history. Nothing reaches the top without it taking time.
Obviously, we have a sense of controversy among the Players. In 2021, it was Wayne Player, one of the six children of the South African who found himself at the heart of the turmoil for having exposed in front of the cameras on the tee of 1 a box of balls in order to make the pub in a wild way.
A lèse-majesté crime which had earned Wayne Player a lifetime exclusion. Winner of three green jackets in 1961, 1972 and 1974, Player has been part of the ceremonial opening since 2012 when he joined Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.
Gary Player (Johannesburg, November 1, 1935) is a South African former golfer who with Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer makes up the trio of great players who are credited with making golf a sport of enormous popularity worldwide.
Nicknamed the black knight because of the black game clothing he used to wear, during his career he won a total of 163 tournaments, obtaining 9 victories in the 4 Majors tournaments of the circuit, all of which he won at least once.
He is a famous creator of courses and golf courses: around the world there are around 400 courses created according to his design.
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