Gary Player is finally speaking out about the stunt his pulled that got him banned from a major golf event.
The 2021 Masters ended with the first Japanese player, Hideki Matsuyama, joining the exclusive club of green jacket winners, but it started with Gary Player’s son holding up a sleeve of golf balls throughout the opening ceremony of The Masters, which paid tribute to Lee Elder, the first Black golfer in tournament history. Wayne Player was attempting to get his sleeve of golf balls into the view of the TV cameras and he got heavily scrutinized for it.
“The only thought from that point was that it would be cool for fans to know what ball my dad was teeing off with,” Wayne told Golf Digest. That’s where it ends. If I’ve hurt people’s feelings then I’m truly sorry and hope they will forgive me.”
Wayne Player has reportedly been banned from Augusta National, but it still hasn’t been confirmed.
Gary Player recently addressed the incident in an interview with Ann Liguori of WFAN.
“I don’t think he did it with any malice,” Player said. “He was basically telling his friends, ‘My father will play this ball.’ And I think his friends didn’t believe it because it’s not a ball on the market.”
Player said that he would accept any punishment that comes with the stunt.
“That’s their course,” he added. “It’s their tournament. And you’ve got to abide by their rules. And if you don’t, you’re going to be asked to leave. We’ll see what their verdict is in the end. Whatever happens, so be it.”