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NICKNAME: The Black Knight
HEIGHT: 5 ' 7"
WEIGHT: 150lbs / 68kg
BIRTHDATE: Nov. 1, 1935
BIRTHPLACE: Johannesburg, South Africa
Turned Professional: 1953
Joined PGA Tour: 1957
Joined Senior Tour: 1985
Career Championships: 163



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Gary Player is a legend in his own time. The most successful international golfer of all time, Player has achieved the kind of worldwide acclaim reserved for only a handful of sporting greats. He is, quite simply, world class. Gary Player is renowned as much for his dedication to the principles of excellence as he is for his golfing accomplishments. He is recognized worldwide as an uncompromising perfectionist who settles for nothing but the best. His impeccable set of values, stringent regimen of health and fitness, and insistence on quality, have earned him admiration the world over.

A courageous style of play fired by a fiercely competetive nature, an always courteous demeanour and a penchant for wearing black has earned him the name - The Black Knight.

Born Johannesburg, South Africa, Gary PlayerPlayer is remembered for being a member of the Modern Triumvirate. He is also a highly successful player on the Seniors Tour.

Player, the son of a gold miner, turned professional in 1953 and almost immediately set about dominating South African golf. When he travelled to England in 1955, he was told that he did not have what it took to become a successful golfer and advised to seek another career. That was just the sort of challenge which appealed to Player who just one year later returned to Britain to win the Dunlop Masters in Sunningdale. In the same year, he won the first of 13 South African Opens.

His approach to golf and life in general mirrors Ben Hogan's. He practised and prepared to the point of obsession. He followed an intense fitness regime and even today is fitter than men decades younger. Perhaps to emphasise these qualities, he dressed in black and it became his trademark.

In 1959, he won his first Open, which was his first victory in the Majors. At the time, he was the youngest ever winner of that prestigious championship. By 1961, he topped the money list on the US Tour. In 1965, he beat Arnold Palmer to win the US Masters and therefore finally winning each of the Majors. He would go to record 10 Major victories in total. He won the Open 3 times, the US Open once, the US PGA twice and the Masters 3 times. He has also represented South Africa in no less than 16 World Cups. Player along with Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer dominated world golf during the 1960s and early 1970s earning them the title 'The Modern Triumvirate'.

Up to the point of joining the Seniors Tour in 1985, Player recorded 21 victories on the US PGA Tour and had collected US$1.8m in prize money. He has already won more on the Seniors Tour and is quickly accumulating more victories. For this reason, he insists the chapter on his golf career remains firmly open and he may still overtake the great Jack Nicklaus.

Player is also an accomplished golf course designer. Besides golf, Player's other passion is for race horses. He owns a stud farm outside Johannesburg, which breeds top class horses.

Tour Victories
• PGA Tour: 24
• Senior PGA Tour: 19
(163 tournament wins worldwide)

Major Championships
• Masters: 1961, 1974, 1978
• U.S. Open: 1965
• British Open: 1959, 1968, 1974
• PGA Championship: 1962, 1972

Awards and Honors
• Member, World Golf Hall of Fame
• Recipient, South African Sportsman of the Century award
• PGA Tour money leader, 1961
• Captain, International team, 2003 Presidents Cup

• Gary Player: "The harder you practice the luckier you get."

• Gary Player: "I've studied golf for almost 50 years now and know a hell of a lot about nothing."

Gary Player was the only golfer of the 20th Century to win a British Open title in three different decades.


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