Gary Player's son banned from Masters for life for badly timed marketing stunt

Gary Player's son banned from Masters for life for badly timed marketing stunt
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Gary Player's son Wayne has been banned from the Masters tournament for life after a badly timed marketing stunt.

Wayne Player, who is the son of the legendary nine-time major champion, confirmed that he’s no longer allowed to appear at Augusta National for the prestigious tournament.

It comes as the result of a marketing stunt as the Honorary Starters began the 2021 tournament, which saw Lee Elder – the first Black man ever to compete in the event – honoured as the first shots were taken.

While he was being recognised for his trailblazing achievement, Wayne held a box of golf balls while standing behind him.

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He spoke about his ban in Golf Digest this week, where he said: “Well, they say there’s no such thing as bad publicity. I found out that that’s not quite true.”

Discussing the stunt, he added: “I had probably 50 texts after that, 40 of them said I’m a marketing genius, 10 were like, ‘What the hell were you thinking?’ It wasn’t premeditated, but it was a tacky thing.”

Elder was recognised at the Masters before he died at the age of 87 in the same year. Wayne revealed that he made amends with Elder before he passed.

The moment came during the 2021 honorary tee shotsJared C. Tilton/Getty Images

“I’ve got Lee’s cellphone number. I called and I said, ‘You know, Lee, I love you guys.’ You know, everyone said I was disrespectful for a special moment in time for Elder. I said I was sorry, and I didn’t mean to take up his special time.

“And he said, ‘Wayne, you know how much I love you. Right?’ It didn’t cross his mind. That’s important for people to know.”

His father Gary Player has won the Masters a total of three times. He’s one of only five golfers to have completed a Career Grand Slam in winning all four majors, alongside Ben Hogan, Gene Sarazen, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.

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