Golf

Player backs SA pair at World Cup of Golf

2016-11-22 15:13
Gary Player (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - South Africa's greatest sportsman, Gary Player, has backed South Africa's pairing to lift the World Cup of Golf in Australia - after lifting up the trophy himself in 1965.

Player partnered with Harold Henning in the 1965 World Cup of Golf and secured South Africa's first of five titles.

The 81-year-old recounted the final round in Madrid where he was on the verge of withdrawing due to a neck injury.

"I told Harold I needed to withdraw and he said, 'Don’t tell me that, tell my lawyer,'" Player told the PGA Tour website.

"I decided to play after taking about four aspirin and got a massage on my neck. How I played I will never know. I couldn’t hit the ball 10 yards on the practice tee."

"Miraculously, I went on to win the team event with Harold and the individual championship. It was such a great tournament to me because you had so many different nations from all over the world."

Jaco van Zyl and George Coetzee will head the two-man team to represent South Africa at the Kingston Heath Golf Club on Thursday.

This will be Coetzee's second World Cup appearance after partnering with Branden Grace in 2013, while Van Zyl will make his debut.

Van Zyl is the higher ranked player among the duo, at 98th, with Coetzee in 134th.

Despite the two not being South Africa's strongest duo, Player wished them well.

"They are both straight hitters, so it is to their advantage," said Player.

"I will be watching and rooting for them extra hard to give South Africa another world title."

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