One of the greatest golf players in history, Gary Player, was in the headlines due to a controversy that happened in the Masters tournament. Gary Player made a controversial wardrobe decision at the Masters.
On Thursday, Player, 86, was spotted wearing a sweater emblazoned with a Saudi Golf logo as he played alongside fellow legends Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus during the ceremonial opening tee shot at Augusta National.
Backed by the Saudi government, the Saudi Golf League is the upstart rival seeking to disrupt the PGA Tour by offering star players more money for fewer tournaments than they are currently playing.
The Saudi Golf League, whose figurehead is Greg Norman, has been hovering over the golf ecosystem for several months and most notably made headlines when Phil Mickelson brushed aside the country’s human rights concerns during a recent interview with a writer.
Who is Gary Player?
Gary Player is a South African golfer considered to be one of the greatest players of the game. He is most famous for becoming the only non-American to win the “Grand Slam of Golf” consisting of the Masters, the U.S. Open, the British Open and the PGA championship. Among the most successful players of the game, his career spans across almost six decades, and he has won more than 160 tournaments across six continents.
He started playing golf as a teenager – every success made him more determined to become one of the game’s greatest players. He turned professional at the age of 17 and joined the PGA tour four years later. He is often referred to as Mr Fitness and is known for the strict health regime and exercise routine.
He is well-known not just for his accomplishments on the golf course but also for being a man of principles and values – he is someone who is respected not only for being a great player but also for being an extraordinary human being.
His ‘The Player Foundation’ works to provide education, nutrition and medical care to underprivileged children. The foundation has, to date, contributed more than $50 million to various children’s charities. He is also a world-famous golf course architect who has designed more than 320 golf courses worldwide. In addition, he has written or co-written 36 books on golf.
In July 2007, Player made statements at The Open Championship golf tournament about using performance-enhancing drugs in golf. He alleged that at least ten players were “taking something”, citing human growth hormone, steroids and creatine as possible substances. Both the PGA Tour and European Tour were introducing random testing programmes at the time.