After a delayed start due to weather, the Masters got underway this morning with the ceremonial first tee shots hit by Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Gary Player. But the annual unofficial start to the Masters occurred a few minutes earlier on the range, when Player issued his latest flaming hot take (see previous: the Masters is the worst major).

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While warming up for his tee shot, Player, 88, spoke at length about many topics ranging from the importance of gratitude, family, faith, love of country (kiss the ground!), geopolitics and much, much more. We’ve come to expect nothing less from the eccentric nine-time major winner and three-time Masters champion.

Yet his most shocking claim was about his own golf game, with Player asserting to Amanda Renner that he has shot under his age 3,000 times in a row. Putting aside the facts of his accomplished career and that he striped his opening tee ball down the fairway, let’s break down Player’s latest take.

Let’s suppose Player has shot under his age exactly 3,000 times in a row. Time for some math. The South African would need to have played a round of golf EVERY DAY for over eight years to reach that number.

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In other words, Player would have to have played golf every single day since he turned 80 years old, and in each one of those rounds he has shot below his age.

Ben Walton

OK, what about playing five rounds a week, so around 260 rounds a year. That would take him 11.5 years to reach his 3,000 claim. A modest three rounds a week? That would mean Gary Player has shot his age in every round for nearly 20 years.

Given Player is such a fitness guru and stays active, we’ll be generous and suppose his rounds-per-week is in the five-or-so range. Still, that means it’s been nearly 12 years since Player has shot above his age. Not one bad day where you get on the bogey train?

Hey, seeing that Player has much of the same swing that won him nine majors, we’re keen to give him the benefit of the doubt. But it’s hard to buy this one, unless Player is taking our advice and moving up a few tee boxes.


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