Lee Elder, the first black ever to take part in a Masters, was one of the ceremonial starters in Augusta on Thursday alongside Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. But it is one of the player’s sons who caused a stir by appearing to be promoting his father’s golf ball while Elder was being honored.
Wayne Player, who acts as Gary’s caddy, can be seen putting in a golf ball cover pushes the background as Elder received praise from Augusta chairman Fred Ridley. Wayne Player held up his sleeve for most of the cherished tradition.
« The only thought from this point was that it would be cool for fans to know what ball my father was teeing off with, » Wayne told Golf Digest.
« This is where it ends. If I’ve hurt people’s feelings, I’m really sorry and I hope they’ll forgive me. »
However, the drama didn’t end there. Marc Player, allegedly estranged from Wayne, claims his brother is now banished from Augusta.
Lee Elder is joined by special guests this morning, including his family, representatives from Paine College, and a group of Black PGA professionals . #themasters pic.twitter.com/C9AJSlypF4
« Wayne has since been correctly banned from the Augusta National and The Masters tournaments, » tweeted Marc in response to CBS Sports’ Kyle Porter.
« What a shame. What an embarrassment. What a bad decision to let him on the first tee after years of similar gimmicks. My apologies to everyone. »
Gary Player received $ 5 million and the Rights to his name and likeness from a company Marc ran in a lawsuit in Florida last year, details murky despite the player’s attorney Stuart Singer calling the issue a « contractual dispute ».
Wayne Player spent five nights in Georgia jail in 2019 after being arrested for fraud allegedly attempting to rent a house near Augusta in 2018 and the check he used for $ 2,000 ricocheted. p> OnCore, the ball Wayne promoted, declined its actions in a statement to Golf Digest.
« We are aware of the criticism resulting from Wayne Player’s presentation of our product at the ceremony OnCore’s first tee this morning, especially during the introduction of Lee Elder, a pioneer in golf, ”said Keith, CEO of OnCore, told Blakely.
« We did not ask or direct Mr. Player to display our ball sleeve during the ceremony, and we are sorry if his actions caused a crime or detracted from the wonderful appreciation Mr. Elder was given. «
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