Gary Player

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Gary Player
— Golfer —
All Black.jpg
Player in 2008
Personal information
Full nameGary Player
NicknameThe Black Knight,
Mr. Fitness,
International Ambassador
of Golf
Born(1935-11-01) 1 November 1935 (age 78)
Johannesburg, South Africa
Height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Weight150 lb (68 kg; 11 st)
Nationality South Africa
ResidenceJupiter Island, Florida, U.S.
Colesberg, South Africa
SpouseVivienne Verwey (m. 1957)
ChildrenJennifer, Marc, Wayne, Michele, Theresa, Amanda
Career
Turned professional1953
Current tour(s)PGA Tour (joined 1957)
Champions Tour (joined 1985)
Professional wins165
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour24 (25th all time)
Sunshine Tour73 (1st all time)
Champions Tour19
Other120 (regular)
14 (senior)
Best results in major championships
(Wins: 9)
Masters TournamentWon: 1961, 1974, 1978
U.S. OpenWon: 1965
The Open ChampionshipWon: 1959, 1968, 1974
PGA ChampionshipWon: 1962, 1972
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame1974 (member page)
PGA Tour
leading money winner
1961
Southern Africa Tour
Order of Merit winner
1976/77, 1979/80
PGA Tour Lifetime
Achievement Award
2012
(For a full list of awards, see here)
 
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Gary Player
— Golfer —
All Black.jpg
Player in 2008
Personal information
Full nameGary Player
NicknameThe Black Knight,
Mr. Fitness,
International Ambassador
of Golf
Born(1935-11-01) 1 November 1935 (age 78)
Johannesburg, South Africa
Height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Weight150 lb (68 kg; 11 st)
Nationality South Africa
ResidenceJupiter Island, Florida, U.S.
Colesberg, South Africa
SpouseVivienne Verwey (m. 1957)
ChildrenJennifer, Marc, Wayne, Michele, Theresa, Amanda
Career
Turned professional1953
Current tour(s)PGA Tour (joined 1957)
Champions Tour (joined 1985)
Professional wins165
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour24 (25th all time)
Sunshine Tour73 (1st all time)
Champions Tour19
Other120 (regular)
14 (senior)
Best results in major championships
(Wins: 9)
Masters TournamentWon: 1961, 1974, 1978
U.S. OpenWon: 1965
The Open ChampionshipWon: 1959, 1968, 1974
PGA ChampionshipWon: 1962, 1972
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame1974 (member page)
PGA Tour
leading money winner
1961
Southern Africa Tour
Order of Merit winner
1976/77, 1979/80
PGA Tour Lifetime
Achievement Award
2012
(For a full list of awards, see here)

Gary Player DMS; OIG (born 1 November 1935) is a South African professional golfer, widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of golf. Over his career, Player accumulated nine major championships on the regular tour and six Champions Tour major championship victories, as well as three Senior British Open Championships on the European Senior Tour. At the age of 29, Player won the 1965 U.S. Open and became the only non-American to win all four majors, known as the career Grand Slam. Player became only the third golfer in history to win the Career Grand Slam, following Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen. Since then, only Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have won the Career Grand Slam. Player has won 165 tournaments on six continents over six decades and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.[1]

Born in Johannesburg, Player has logged more than 25 million kilometres (15 million miles) in travel, which is more than any other athlete.[2] Nicknamed the Black Knight, Mr. Fitness, and the International Ambassador of Golf,[3] Player is also a renowned golf course architect with more than 325 design projects on five continents throughout the world. He has also authored or co-written 36 golf books.

His business interests are represented by Black Knight International, which includes Gary Player Design, Player Real Estate, The Player Foundation, Gary Player Academies, and Black Knight Enterprises, aspects of which include licensing, events, publishing, wine, apparel and memorabilia.[4]

The Gary Player Stud Farm has received worldwide acclaim for breeding top thoroughbred race horses, including 1994 Epsom Derby entry Broadway Flyer.

He operates The Player Foundation, which has a primary objective of promoting underprivileged education around the world. In 1983, The Player Foundation established the Blair Atholl Schools in Johannesburg, South Africa, which has educational facilities for more than 500 students from kindergarten through eighth grade. In 2013 it celebrated its 30th Anniversary with charity golf events in London, Palm Beach, Shanghai and Cape Town, bringing its total of funds raised to over US $50 million.[4][5]

In 2014 the Gary Player Invitational charity series of events will be staged in Augusta, Georgia after the Masters; in London after The Open Championship; in Shanghai after to the HSBC Championship and at Sun City, South Africa just before the Nedbank Golf Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club.

Background and family[edit]

Gary Player swings at the 2009 Gary Player Invitational
Gary Player swings at the 2009 GPI in Edinburgh, Scotland

Gary Player was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, the youngest of Harry and Muriel Player's three children. When he was eight years old his mother died from cancer. Although his father was often away from home working in the gold mines, he did manage to take a loan in order to buy a set of clubs for his son Gary to begin playing golf. The Virginia Park golf course in Johannesburg is where Player first began his love affair with golf. At the age of 14, Player played his first round of golf and parred the first three holes. At age 16, he announced that he would become number one in the world. At age 17, he became a professional golfer.

Player married wife Vivienne Verwey (sister of professional golfer Bobby Verwey) on 19 January 1957, four years after turning professional. Together they have six children: Jennifer, Marc, Wayne, Michele, Theresa and Amanda. He is also a grandfather to 21 grandchildren.[6] During the early days of his career Player would travel from tournament to tournament with wife, six children, nanny and a tutor in tow.

Eldest son, Marc Player, owns and operates Black Knight International, which exclusively represents Player in all his commercial activities, including all endorsements, merchandising, golf course design, and real estate development.[7]

Gary Player is the brother of Ian Player, a notable South African environmental educator and conservationist who saved the white rhino from extinction.[8]

Regular PGA Tour career[edit]

Player is one of the most successful golfers in the history of the sport, ranking third (behind Roberto de Vicenzo and Sam Snead) in total professional wins, with at least 166, and tied for fourth in major championship victories with nine. Along with Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus he is often referred to as one of "The Big Three" golfers of his era – from the late 1950s through the late 1970s – when golf boomed in the United States and around the world, greatly encouraged by expanded television coverage. Along with Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods, he is one of only five players to win golf’s "career Grand Slam". He completed the Grand Slam in 1965 at the age of twenty-nine. Player was the second multi-time majors winner from South Africa, following Bobby Locke, then was followed by Ernie Els, and Retief Goosen.

Player played regularly on the U.S. based PGA Tour from the late 1950s. He led the money list in 1961, and went on to accumulate 24 career titles. He also played an exceptionally busy schedule all over the world, and he has been called the world's most traveled athlete, clocking up more than 15 million miles. He has more victories than anyone else in the South African Open (13) and the Australian Open (7). He held the record for most victories in the World Match Play Championship, with five wins, from 1973 until 1991 when this feat was equalled by Seve Ballesteros, finally losing his share of the record in 2004, when Ernie Els won the event for a sixth time. Player was ever-present in the top ten of Mark McCormack's world golf rankings from their inception in 1968 until 1981; he was ranked first or second on those rankings in 1969, 1970 and 1972, each time to Jack Nicklaus.

He was the only player in the 20th century to win the British Open in three different decades.[9] His first win, as a 23-year-old in 1959 at Muirfield, came after he double-bogeyed the last hole.[10] In 1974, he became one of the few golfers in history to win two major championships in the same season. Player last won the U.S. Masters in 1978, when he started seven strokes behind 54-hole leader Hubert Green entering the final round, and won by one shot with birdies at seven of the last 10 holes for a back nine 30 and a final round 64. One week later, Player came from seven strokes back in the final round to win the Tournament of Champions. In 1984, at the age of 48, Player nearly became the oldest ever major champion, finishing just behind Lee Trevino at the PGA Championship. And in gusty winds at the 1998 Masters, he became the oldest golfer ever to make to the cut, breaking the 25-year-old record set by Sam Snead. Player credited this feat to his dedication to the concept of diet, health, practise and golf fitness.[11]

Player in 2008

Being South African, Player never played in the Ryder Cup in which American and European golfers compete against each other. Regarding the event, Player remarked, "The things I have seen in the Ryder Cup have disappointed me. You are hearing about hatred and war."[12] He was no longer an eligible player when the Presidents Cup was established to give international players the opportunity to compete in a similar event, but he was non-playing captain of the International Team for the Presidents Cup in 2003, which was held on a course he designed, The Links at Fancourt, in George, South Africa. After 2003 ended in a tie, he was reappointed as captain for the 2005 Presidents Cup, and his team lost to the Americans 15.5 to 18.5. Both Player and Jack Nicklaus were appointed to captain their respective teams again in 2007 in Canada; the United States won.

Legacy[edit]

In 2000 he was voted "Sportsman of the Century" in South Africa. In 1966, Gary Player was awarded the Bob Jones Award, the highest honour given by the United States Golf Association in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974. The "Gary Player – A Global Journey" exhibition was launched by the Hall of Fame as of March 2006.

In 2000, Player was ranked as the eighth greatest golfer of all time by Golf Digest magazine.[13]

In 2002, Player was voted as the second greatest global golfer of all time by a panel of international media, golf magazines and fellow professionals conducted by the leading Golf Asia Magazine.

On 10 April 2009, he played for the last time in the Masters, where he was playing for his record 52nd time[14] – every year since 1957 except for 1973, when he was ill.[15] After Nicklaus and Palmer, he was the last of the Big Three to retire from this tournament, a testament to his longevity.

On 23 July 2009, at the age of 73, Player competed in the Senior British Open Championship at Sunningdale Golf Club, 53 years after capturing his maiden European Tour victory at the Berkshire venue.[16]

Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters announced on 5 July 2011 that Player had been invited to join Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer as an honorary starter. The Big Three were reunited in this capacity starting with the 2012 tournament.[17]

In July 2013, he became the oldest athlete ever to pose nude in ESPN The Magazine's annual Body Issue to inspire people to keep looking after themselves throughout their lives whatever your age.

Professional wins[edit]

PGA Tour wins (24)[edit]

No.DateTournamentWinning scoreMargin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
120 Apr 1958Kentucky Derby Open−14(68-68-69-69=274)3 strokesUnited States Chick Harbert, United States Ernie Vossler
23 Jul 1959The Open ChampionshipE (75-71-70-68=284)2 strokesScotland Fred Bullock, Belgium Flory Van Donck
329 Jan 1961Lucky International Open−12 (70-69-68-65=272)2 strokesUnited States George Bayer, United States Don Whitt
426 Mar 1961Sunshine Open Invitational−15 (69-68-67-69=273)1 strokeUnited States Arnold Palmer
510 Apr 1961Masters Tournament−8 (69-68-69-74=280)1 strokeUnited States Charles Coe, United States Arnold Palmer
622 Jul 1962PGA Championship−2 (72-67-69-70=278)1 strokeUnited States Bob Goalby
713 Jan 1963San Diego Open Invitational−14 (65-65-70-70=270)1 strokeUnited States Tony Lema
88 Mar 1964Pensacola Open−14 (71-68-66-69=274)PlayoffUnited States Miller Barber, United States Arnold Palmer
931 May 1964500 Festival Open Invitation−11 (70-66-70-67=273)3 strokesUnited States Doug Sanders, United States Art Wall, Jr.
1021 Jun 1965U.S. Open+2 (70-70-71-71=282)PlayoffAustralia Kel Nagle
1113 Jul 1968The Open Championship+1 (74-71-71-73=289)2 strokeNew Zealand Bob Charles, United States Jack Nicklaus
1220 Apr 1969Tournament of Champions−4 (69-74-69-72=284)2 strokesUnited States Lee Trevino
135 Apr 1970Greater Greensboro Open−13 (70-63-73-65=271)2 strokesUnited States Miller Barber
1421 Mar 1971Greater Jacksonville Open−7 (70-70-72-69=281)PlayoffUnited States Hal Underwood
1528 Mar 1971National Airlines Open Invitational−14 (69-67-70-68=274)2 strokesUnited States Lee Trevino
1626 Mar 1972Greater New Orleans Open−9 (73-69-68-69=279)1 strokeUnited States Dave Eichelberger, United States Jack Nicklaus
176 Aug 1972PGA Championship+1 (71-71-67-72=281)2 strokesUnited States Tommy Aaron, United States Jim Jamieson
189 Sep 1973Southern Open−10 (69-65-67-69=270)1 strokeUnited States Forrest Fezler
1914 Apr 1974Masters Tournament−10 (71-71-66-70=278)2 strokesUnited States Dave Stockton, United States Tom Weiskopf
2026 May 1974Danny Thomas Memphis Classic−15 (65-72-69-67=273)3 strokesUnited States Lou Graham, United States Hubert Green
2113 Jul 1974The Open Championship−2 (69-68-75-70=282)4 strokesEngland Peter Oosterhuis
229 Apr 1978Masters Tournament−11 (72-72-69-64=277)1 strokeUnited States Rod Funseth, United States Hubert Green, United States Tom Watson
2316 Apr 1978MONY Tournament of Champions−7 (70-68-76-67=281)2 strokesUnited States Andy North, United States Lee Trevino
2423 Apr 1978Houston Open−18 (64-67-70-69=270)1 strokeUnited States Andy Bean

PGA Tour playoff record (3–10)

No.YearTournamentOpponent(s)Result
11958Dallas Open InvitationalUnited States Julius Boros, United States John McMullin, United States Sam SneadSnead won with birdie on first extra hole
21959Memphis OpenCanada Al Balding, United States Don WhittLost to par on second extra hole
Balding eliminated on first hole with birdie
31961American Golf ClassicUnited States Jay HebertLost to birdie on the second extra hole
41962Masters TournamentUnited States Dow Finsterwald, United States Arnold PalmerLost 18-hole playoff (Palmer:68, Player:71, Finsterwald:77)
51962Memphis Open InvitationalUnited States Lionel Hebert, United States Gene LittlerHebert won with birdie on first extra hole
61963Palm Springs Golf ClassicUnited States Jack NicklausLost 18-hole playoff (Nicklaus:65, Player:73)
71964Pensacola OpenUnited States Miller Barber, United States Arnold PalmerWon 18-hole playoff (Player:71, Palmer:72, Barber:74)
81965U.S. OpenAustralia Kel NagleWon 18-hole playoff (Player:71, Nagle:74)
91967Oklahoma City Open InvitationalUnited States Miller BarberLost to birdie on third extra hole
101968Azalea Open InvitationalUnited States Steve ReidLost to birdie on second extra hole
111971Greater Jacksonville OpenUnited States Hal UnderwoodWon with par on second extra hole
121971Kemper OpenUnited States Dale Douglass, United States Lee Trevino, United States Tom WeiskopfWeiskopf won with birdie on first extra hole
131975MONY Tournament of ChampionsUnited States Al GeibergerLost to birdie on first extra hole

Major championships are shown in bold.

European Tour and other international wins[edit]

In addition to his wins on the PGA Tour, Player won more than 120 other tournaments in "regular", that is non-senior golf.

South Africa Tour (now the Sunshine Tour)[18]
73 wins between 1955 and 1981 including:

PGA Tour of Australasia
18 wins between 1956 and 1981:[18]

Other
At least 25 other wins between 1955 and 1995, including:[18]

Champions Tour wins (19)[edit]

No.DateTournamentWinning scoreMargin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
123 Nov 1985Quadel Seniors Classic−11 (73-64-68=205)3 strokesUnited States Jim Ferree, United States Ken Still
216 Feb 1986General Foods PGA Seniors' Championship−12 (68-68-73-72=281)2 strokesUnited States Lee Elder
318 May 1986United Hospitals Senior Golf Championship−4 (66-70-70=206)1 strokeNew Zealand Bob Charles, United States Lee Elder
41 Jun 1986Denver Post Champions of Golf−8 (70-67-71=208)PlayoffArgentina Roberto DeVicenzo
514 Jun 1987Mazda Senior Tournament Players Championship−8 (69-73-69-69=280)1 strokeAustralia Bruce Crampton, United States Chi-Chi Rodríguez
612 Jul 1987U.S. Senior Open−14 (69-68-67-66=270)6 strokesUnited States Doug Sanders
713 Sep 1987PaineWebber World Seniors Invitational−9 (68-67-72=207)PlayoffNew Zealand Bob Charles
814 Feb 1988General Foods PGA Seniors' Championship−4 (69-73-72=70=284)3 strokesUnited States Chi-Chi Rodríguez
928 Feb 1988Aetna Challenge−9 (70-70-67=207)1 strokeUnited States Dave Hill
1026 Jun 1988Southwestern Bell Classic−13 (69-68-66=203)PlayoffSouth Africa Harold Henning
118 Aug 1988U.S. Senior OpenE (74-71-70-73=288)PlayoffNew Zealand Bob Charles
1211 Sep 1988GTE North Classic−15 (70-65-66=201)2 strokesUnited States Dave Hill
1310 Sep 1989GTE North Classic−9 (67-68=135)1 strokeUnited States Billy Casper, United States Al Geiberger, United States Joe Jimenez
148 Oct 1989RJR Championship−3 (65-71-71=207)1 strokeUnited States Rives McBee
1515 Apr 1990PGA Seniors' Championship−7 (74-69-65-73=281)2 strokesUnited States Chi-Chi Rodríguez
163 Feb 1991Royal Caribbean Classic−13 (67-65-68=200)2 strokesNew Zealand Bob Charles, United States Chi-Chi Rodríguez, United States Lee Trevino
1719 Sep 1993Bank One Senior Classic−14 (68-68-66=202)3 strokesUnited States Dale Douglass
1824 Sep 1995Bank One Classic−5 (72-75-64=211)2 strokesUnited States Jack Kiefer
1923 Aug 1998Northville Long Island Classic−12 (68-68-68=204)1 strokeUnited States Walter Hall, United States J. C. Snead

Champions Tour playoff record (4–2)

No.YearTournamentOpponentResult
11986Denver Post Champions of GolfArgentina Roberto DeVicenzoWon with par on fourth extra hole
21987PaineWebber World Seniors InvitationalNew Zealand Bob CharlesWon with birdie on first extra hole
31988Southwestern Bell ClassicSouth Africa Harold HenningWon with birdie on first extra hole
41988U.S. Senior OpenNew Zealand Bob CharlesWon 18-hole playoff (Player:68, Charles:70)
51990Bell Atlantic ClassicUnited States Dale DouglassLost to par on second extra hole
61996FHP Health Care ClassicUnited States Walter MorganLost to birdie on first extra hole

Senior majors are shown in bold. See "Other senior wins" below for Player's wins in the Senior British Open.

European Senior Tour and other wins (15)[edit]

The Senior British Open is shown in bold as it is generally recognised as a major and it is now an official Champions Tour event and major. However, it was not an official Champions Tour event when Player achieved his wins, and in contrast to early wins in regular British Opens by PGA Tour members, which are now included in their official PGA Tour win tallies, wins in early Senior British Opens by Champions Tour members have not been retrospectively designated as Champions Tour wins by the PGA Tour at this time. The Senior British Open is however recognised as a major by all other international bodies, such as the European Tour, Sunshine Tour, Japanese Tour and Asian Tour.

Major championships[edit]

Wins (9)[edit]

YearChampionship54 holesWinning scoreMarginRunner(s)-up
1959The Open Championship4 shot deficitE (75-71-70-68=284)2 strokesScotland Fred Bullock, Belgium Flory Van Donck
1961Masters Tournament3 shot lead−8 (69-68-69-74=280)1 strokeUnited States Charles Coe, United States Arnold Palmer
1962PGA Championship2 shot lead−2 (72-67-69-70=278)1 strokeUnited States Bob Goalby
1965U.S. Open2 shot lead+2 (70-70-71-71=282)Playoff 1Australia Kel Nagle
1968The Open Championship (2)2 shot deficit+1 (74-71-71-73=289)2 strokesNew Zealand Bob Charles, United States Jack Nicklaus
1972PGA Championship (2)1 shot lead+1 (71-71-67-72=281)2 strokesUnited States Tommy Aaron, United States Jim Jamieson
1974Masters Tournament (2)1 shot deficit−10 (71-71-66-70=278)2 strokesUnited States Dave Stockton, United States Tom Weiskopf
1974The Open Championship (3)3 shot lead−2 (69-68-75-70=282)4 strokesEngland Peter Oosterhuis
1978Masters Tournament (3)7 shot deficit−11 (72-72-69-64=277)1 strokeUnited States Rod Funseth, United States Hubert Green,
United States Tom Watson

1 Defeated Kel Nagle in 18-hole playoff – Player 71 (+1), Nagle 74 (+4).

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament1956195719581959
Masters TournamentDNPT24CUTT8
U.S. OpenDNPDNP2T15
The Open Championship4T2471
PGA ChampionshipDNPDNPDNPDNP
Tournament1960196119621963196419651966196719681969
Masters TournamentT612T5T5T2T28T6T7T33
U.S. OpenT19T9T6T8T231T15T12T16T48
The Open Championship7WDCUTT7T8WDT4T31T23
PGA ChampionshipDNPT291T8T13T33T3DNPDNP2
Tournament1970197119721973197419751976197719781979
Masters Tournament3T6T10DNP1T30T28T191T17
U.S. OpenT44T27T1512T8T43T23T10T6T2
The Open ChampionshipCUT76T141T32T28T22T34T19
PGA ChampionshipT12T41T517T33T13T31T26T23
Tournament1980198119821983198419851986198719881989
Masters TournamentT6T15T15CUTT21T36CUTT35CUTCUT
U.S. OpenCUTT26CUTT20T43DNPDNPDNPCUTCUT
The Open ChampionshipCUTCUTT42CUTCUTCUTT35T66T60CUT
PGA ChampionshipT26T49CUTT42T2CUTDNPDNPDNPDNP
Tournament1990199119921993199419951996199719981999
Masters TournamentT24CUTCUT60CUTCUTCUTCUT46CUT
U.S. OpenDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNP
The Open ChampionshipCUTT57CUTCUTCUTT68CUTCUTCUTCUT
PGA ChampionshipDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNP
Tournament2000200120022003200420052006200720082009
Masters TournamentCUTCUTCUTCUTCUTCUTCUTCUTCUTCUT
U.S. OpenDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNP
The Open ChampionshipCUTCUTDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNP
PGA ChampionshipDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNP

DNP = Did not play
WD = Withdrew
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10

Summary[edit]

TournamentWins2nd3rdTop-5Top-10Top-25EventsCuts made
Masters Tournament321815225230
U.S. Open12039192925
The Open Championship301612174626
PGA Championship22168122321
Totals963234470150102

Champions Tour major championships[edit]

Wins (6)[edit]

YearChampionshipWinning ScoreMarginRunner(s)-up
1986General Foods PGA Seniors' Championship−7 (68-68-73-72=281)2 strokesUnited States Lee Elder
1987U.S. Senior Open−14 (69-68-67-66=270)6 strokesUnited States Doug Sanders
1987Mazda Senior Tournament Players Championship−8 (69-73-69-69=280)1 strokeAustralia Bruce Crampton United States Chi-Chi Rodríguez
1988General Foods PGA Seniors' Championship (2)−4 (69-73-72-70=284)3 strokesUnited States Chi-Chi Rodríguez
1988U.S. Senior Open (2)E (74-70-71-73=288)Playoff1New Zealand Bob Charles
1990PGA Seniors' Championship (3)−7 (74-69-65-73=281)2 strokesUnited States Chi-Chi Rodríguez

1 Won in an 18-hole playoff, Player (68) to Charles (70).

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament1986198719881989
Senior PGA Championship1T81T8
U.S. Senior Open211T9
The TraditionNYFNYFNYF2
Senior Players ChampionshipT141T33
Tournament1990199119921993199419951996199719981999
Senior PGA Championship1T85T16T19T60T31T20T39T43
U.S. Senior OpenT3T8T3T17T13T19T60T21DNPDNP
The Tradition2T15T20T17T27T17T9T51T17T50
Senior Players ChampionshipT18T43T18T33T42DNPT49T49DNPT29
Tournament2000200120022003200420052006200720082009
Senior PGA ChampionshipT46T8T45CUTCUTCUTCUTCUTDNPDNP
The Senior Open Championship-1-1-1T51CUTT61T65DNPCUTCUT
U.S. Senior OpenCUT57CUTT54CUTDNPCUTDNPDNPDNP
The TraditionT34T19T6275T64T73T76DNPDNP67
Senior Players ChampionshipT57T56DNPDNPT58DNPT74DNPDNPDNP

1The Senior Open Championship was not a Champions Tour major until 2003, though it was on the European Seniors Tour. Player won the event three times prior to this recognition.

DNP = Did not play
CUT = Missed the half-way cut
NYF = Tournament not yet founded
"T" = tied
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.

Equipment[edit]

Golf course designing[edit]

Gary Player and Gary Player Design have executed over 300 projects in 35 countries on five continents. They try to build long-term mutually rewarding relationships with clients and display integrity and credibility in business settings. The group proactively provides experienced solutions throughout the intricate development process of a project.

The company offers three different design brands: Gary Player Design, Player Design, and Black Knight Design. The marketing advantages of each of these brands vary according to the personal participation of Player, as well as the access to different levels of intellectual property.[20]

Gary Player Design also upholds a strict environmental policy, which includes minimizing site disturbance, promoting organic applications, and specifying environmentally-sensitive building materials in their golf course design approaches; they are refining efforts in these areas and are using state-of-the-art industry methods.

Their primary focus, however, is on water, which is one of Gary Player's greatest concerns.[21] According to Player, "Water conservation techniques are not only our fundamental responsibility, but are important to the industry of golf and the global growth of the wonderful game of golf, as real water-savings also mean real cost-savings."

With golf accepted back into the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Gary Player Design was selected amongst the finalists of an official RFP in early December 2011.

The Player Foundation[edit]

The Player Foundation was established in 1983 and began as an effort to provide education, nutrition, medical care and athletic activities, for a small community of disadvantaged children living on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa. The Player Foundation has since blossomed into an organisation that circles the globe bringing aid to underprivileged children and impoverished communities. Since its establishment,The Player Foundation has donated over $50 million to the support of children's charities, the betterment of impoverished communities and the expansion of educational opportunities throughout the world.

The Foundation is primarily funded by four Gary Player Invitational events presented through Black Knight International and staged in the United States, China, Europe and South Africa annually.[22] The Gary Player Invitational is a pro-am tournament that pairs celebrities and professional golfers from the PGA and Champions Tours with businessmen and other local participants. The proceeds of these tournaments and other special events provide funding for an ever-expanding number of institutions around the world, including the Blair Atholl Schools in South Africa, the Pleasant City Elementary School in Palm Beach, the Masizame Children’s Shelter in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa, and AIDS infected children in Baoshan, a drug-infested city located on the China-Burma border.

Proceeds from the Gary Player Invitational have also been donated to The Lord’s Taverners in the UK and the following organisations in South Africa; Wildlands Conservation Trust, Twilight Children, and Bana Development Centre.[23][24]

Controversy[edit]

In July 2007, a media controversy emerged over his statements at The Open Championship golf tournament about the use of performance enhancing drugs in golf. Subsequently, the PGA Tour introduced a formal policy.

Player has almost always "spoken his mind" and been considered a controversial albeit frank and forthright professional golfer. He has been a pioneer of diet, health and fitness although he upset the Atkins Diet organisation by disagreeing with their "all protein" approach. He was branded a "traitor" by South African Nationalist Government supporters for inviting and bringing both black tennis pro Arthur Ashe and golfer Lee Elder to play in South Africa. He was the first golfer to call for mandatory drug testing on all tours around the world.

In 1966, Player was quoted in a book entitled Grand Slam Golf in which was written, "I am a South African, a nation which is the result of an African graft on European stock and which is the product of its instinct and ability to maintain civilized values and standards amongst the aliens".

Player apologised profusely about this statement, saying he was a young man who never proof read the book's manuscript prior to going to print and that the quote was never made by him but rather the writer of the book.[25] It is believed that Player's attitude towards the apartheid regime was always negative and he has so far raised over $100 million through his foundation to support under-privileged education in South Africa during apartheid.[citation needed]

In 2002, Player designed a golf course in Burma, named by the developers, The Pride of Myanmar, currently frequented by tourists as well as generals of the army. There are unsubstantiated accusations that the land for the courses was seized from poor farmers without compensation. Regardless, as a designer Player had nothing to do with how the land was acquired.[25]

Player has hosted the Nelson Mandela Invitational golf tournament since 2000. In October 2007, further media controversy arose about his involvement in the 2002 design of a golf course in Burma. As a result of the political uprisings in Burma, the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund withdrew from the fundraising golf tournament because of Player's unsubstantiated business links with the country. Both Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu however accepted Player's position and statements on Burma.[26] Player refused to withdraw as he personally built the golf event from scratch and issued a statement rebutting these claims via his website. The event is now annually staged at the Fancourt Resort as the Gary Player Invitational and is South Africa's largest and most successful charity event, having raised a record amount of over R500 million for various children's charities.[25]

Distinctions and honours[edit]

Team appearances[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kim, Jae-Ha (2 October 2013). "Go Away With Gary Player". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  2. ^ Gary Player the most traveled athlete on the planet
  3. ^ "PGA Tour Media Guide – Gary Player". PGA Tour. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Sangani, Priyanka (27 September 2013). "Remain positive and confident to perform under pressure: Gary Player". The Economic Times. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "Gary Player Invitational". garyplayerinvitational.com. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  6. ^ "Golf legend Player in drugs claim". BBC News. 18 July 2007. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  7. ^ Roberts, Daniel (30 June 2014). "Cowboy on the Green". Fortune 169 (9): 18–19. 
  8. ^ Ian Player Official Web Site, About Ian Player. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
  9. ^ Golf: Gary Player – SouthAfrica.info
  10. ^ "1959 Gary Player". The Open. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  11. ^ Hill, Susan: "Fit For Golf", page 34. Resort Living
  12. ^ Apfelbaum, Jim, ed. (2007). The Gigantic Book of Golf Quotations. Skyhorse Publishing. ISBN 978-1602390140. 
  13. ^ Yocom, Guy (July 2000). "50 Greatest Golfers of All Time: And What They Taught Us". Golf Digest. Retrieved 5 December 2007. 
  14. ^ "Who Played the Most Masters Tournaments?". Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  15. ^ "The Masters: Gary Player's 50th appearance". Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  16. ^ "Gary Player takes a trip down memory lane at Sunningdale". 
  17. ^ "Player to Join Palmer, Nicklaus as Honorary Starter at 2012 Masters". 
  18. ^ a b c "All Tournament Victories". Black Knight International. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  19. ^ Lenobel, Hal (21 April 2012). "Who had the longest drive?". Longboat Key News. Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  20. ^ Gary Player. "Our History". garyplayer.com. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  21. ^ Golf Course Management Magazine Article: The Black Knight Talks Water
  22. ^ Gary Player. "Foundation Overview". garyplayer.com. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  23. ^ "The Gary Player Invitational UK Continues Its Success". www.garyplayer.com. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  24. ^ "Beneficiaries". www.garyplayerinvitational.com. Retrieved 5 June 2012. 
  25. ^ a b c Playing in the Rough Monbiot.com 16 October 2007. Retrieved 16 October 2007
  26. ^ Burmese diplomat quits London Embassy Telegraph 10 October 2007. Retrieved 10 October 2007
  27. ^ June 1961 "The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford". ernieford.com. Retrieved 25 November 2010. 

External links[edit]