Gary Player at the Masters: Fade away, Black Knight
One of the semi-cool things about the Masters is the way it lets in the old-timers, past champions well past their primes who don’t stand a chance in hell of contending.
It’s a link to the past, a historical showcase that’s fun to watch. Most of the time.
“We both had that record and I think that’s really the motive in the back of my mind,” Player told the media this week.
Players has always been fiercely competitive, but it would have been much more gracious to bow out last year, and go into retirement sharing the record with Palmer, who is much more beloved around these parts.
As it is, he’s making a mockery of the record. He can’t even reach some of the par-4s in two, much less the par-5s.
Records are meant to be broken legitimately, not selfishly.
And that’s what Player is being – selfish and egotistical.
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The former champs earned the right to play as long as they want. As long as they don't enter and withdraw after a few holes, the way Doug Ford did, what's the harm?
Yeah, Player has zero chance of winning. He's not the only player in the field about which that can be said. And his second round last year, a 77 in terrible conditions, was better than half of the players in the field.
Enjoy the old guys. Every once in a while, you'll still get a glace of what made them great.
Giving gift invites to players like Sorenstam or Wie would be a real joke. You need to earn the right to play like anyone else.
Player qualifed to play The 2008 Masters by winning three times.
Don't they have talks on the danger of Old on Old crime at the 3:30 p.m. buffet.
But, Player is doing it solely to break a record, which cheapens the record in my opinion.
If Player justifies his "competing" to promote a noble cause, well then they might as well invite Al Gore next year.
I admire his determination. The think lacking in his game is distance. He said that he's going to come back next year much stronger. Can he do it? At 73, not likely. But if anyone can figure out how to hit it further at 73, it's Gary Player.
And while playing with Nicklaus could be trying for some players because of how slow Jack always played, that isn't a problem with Gary. He's fast. He's not getting in anyone's way.
"Staying around to break the record." How else does one break a record for longevity?
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