It just became a little easier for South Africa’s greatest ever sportsman to break his age over 18 holes.
Gary Player turned 86 on Monday, 1 November – and no doubt celebrated with more vigour than many half his age.
Player won nine Majors on both the PGA Tour and Champions Tour during his career.
He remains one of only five golfers to have won golf’s ‘Grand Slam’ – the Masters, US Open, PGA Championship and Open Championship – and is the only non-American to have done so.
Player won over 150 professional tournaments on six continents over seven decades and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.
Tragically, he lost his wife Vivienne in August this year after a lengthy – and brave fight – against cancer.
Player married Vivienne Verwey (sister of former South African professional golfer Bobby Verwey) on 19 January 1957, four years after turning professional.
The couple were married for 64 years.
Together they have six children: Jennifer, Marc, Wayne, Michele, Theresa and Amanda.
Late last month Player confirmed via social media that the inaugural Gary & Vivienne Player Invitational will take place at Sun City in January 2022.
Player wrote: I’m pleased to welcome friends, family & partners to the inaugural Gary & Vivienne Player Invitational at @SunCityResortSA in Jan. 2022. Vivienne would be proud that we’re continuing to build the legacy and raise funds for our Foundation in aid of Blair Atholl Pre-Primary School.
The South African website wishes Gary Player a very Happy 86th Birthday.