Gary Player turned 21 in 1956
Gary Player, soon to turn 87 years old, talked this past Sunday. He said he has shot his age 3,044 consecutive times. Also, he estimates he has flown about 15 million miles in his lifetime, or about the same distance as 30 roundtrips to the moon. On the topic of air travel, the 1963 Australian Open comes up. One of 160 professional wins in his World Golf Hall of Fame career, it is not as well-remembered as his nine major championships. But Player called that victory “absolutely a miracle.” It certainly enhanced his reputation as golf’s global ambassador.
In 1956 – the year he turned 21 – Player, a South African, won tournaments on three continents (Africa, Europe, and Australia), and in 1961 four (North America, Africa, Asia, and Australia). He recalls that his first trip to the United States in 1957, on propeller planes, took 40 hours. The advent of reliable jet travel allowed other players, including Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Australians Bruce Devlin and Bruce Crampton, and New Zealand’s...
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