Thursday, April 10, 2008

Player... A True Professional

At 8:44 EDT, 72-year old Gary Player will be teeing it up for his 51st Masters Tournament.

A 3-time Masters champion, Player was the tournament’s first international winner (South Africa) and had a string of 23 straight cuts made between 1959 and 1982… a record which will be threatened and possibly broken by Fred Couples, should he make it past Friday.

Since Player’s first Masters tee time in 1957, the course at Augusta National has gone through plenty of changes:

The bunkers were changed from beige sand to white feldspar, a by-product of quartz, mined & shipped in from North Carolina.

The greens were changed from bermuda to bent grass, making the greens akin to putting in a bathtub.

The course has been lengthened twice (from 6,925 yds to 7,445 yds), most likely due to the changes in distance-aided equipment over the years, like that ‘toaster on a stick’ driver you carry in your bag.

Whereas the changes to course (notably the total distance from the tips) irked plenty of shorter hitting professionals and the likes Tiger Woods & Jack Nicklaus, Player accepted the changes,

"There have been a lot of criticisms, but I think unjustly so, now I've played it.... The guys are basically having to hit the same second shots that Jack Nicklaus had to hit [in his prime]".

Which is pretty much code-speak for: “Quit your bitching, put a peg under the ball and deal with it.”

Gary Player will tee it up this Thursday and if you ask me, he will most likely not make the cut. But he may be the most professional golfer out of the field for the simple fact that he accepts the challenge without regard to how unfair the course may seem. Much like the mountain climber attempting the peak of Everest, he accepts the challenge because it’s there.

I would love to see him accept the challenge at 80.

4 Comentários:

DC said...

I love the history. Never knew about the course and its changes over time.

Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I love reading about golf history....and I've always had a soft spot for Gary Player....thanks.

Anonymous said...

Goody, This was very imformative. I like it.


MonkeyPosh said...

Hey Free!

I met Gary Player in Hawaii a couple of years ago at a "Seniors" Tourney. A lot of the legends were there and Gary--by far--was the nicest and friendliest. There was one who was a total ass--the one whose caddy died of MS a couple of years ago. Tom something? I forget, but Gary was lovely. He talked to me about his diet of fish. Yes--just fish--almost raw fish because cooking takes out all the flavor and such.
He is a spry, petite little fireball. I loved him. He was also staying in the same hotel as us on Maui, and he remembered us and ALWAYS spoke for the rest of the week.
Oh and I love his hat in the picture.

I hope you are doing FABULOUS!
Have the nuptials happened?
Keep a sister informed!

Jen aka Pearline aka MonkeyPosh

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