The Masters Tournament® has a long-lived legacy as one of golf’s most prestigious tournaments. Starting back in 1934 and progressing on today, Augusta National® has seen many champions walk onto its course.
These Green Jacket Champions are nothing short of legendary and as we count down to The Masters® 2018, we will uncover the story behind them all.
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Gary Player entered the world of professional golf at the age of 17. He played his first round of golf at the young age of 14 and the more he played during his teenage years the more he was determined to become one of the greatest in the game of golf. In 1974, he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Game and in the year 2000, Player was named “Sportsman of the Century” in South Africa.
In addition to being a legend on the golf course, he also contributed to the creation of golf courses, executing over 300 projects in 35 countries on 5 continents. Throughout his career, Gary Player had many professional wins including two PGA Championships, two Open Championships, and one U.S. Open, in addition to three total Masters Tournament wins. 16 years ago, Player participated in his final Masters Tournament but it was the 1961 Masters that really left a mark on his career.
The Masters®, 1961
Arnold Palmer took the lead during the first two rounds of the 1961 tournament and it wasn’t until the third round that Gary Player took control. Player had a four-shot lead over Palmer but had to wait a day to play the final round due to heavy rain.
It wasn’t until the 15th hole that Player gave up his lead and Arnold Palmer took it back on the back nine as Gary Player found the par-5’s difficult. Palmer’s confidence got the best of him on the 18th hole and he had to make a 15-foot putt to avoid a bogey and a playoff. Palmer missed the shot and Gary Player became the first international golfer to wear a Green Jacket.
Secure Access to The Masters® 2018
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