Golf

Gary Player issues warning to opponents

2015-11-13 19:48
Gary Player (Supplied)

Sun City - The evergreen Gary Player issued a warning to his fellow competitors in this week’s Gary Player Invitational when he came through Friday’s official tournament pro-am at the Lost City Golf Club declaring his game to be in excellent shape.

“I played really well today. I’m fortunate in that I score an average of 70 when I play. Even on a bad day I beat my age by six shots,” said Player, who in November turned 80.

“I feel grateful to have reached the age of 80 and still feel like 50.”

Friday’s official pro-am set the tone for a thrilling 36-hole tournament to come on the weekend and featuring a stellar list of sports stars, celebrities and business leaders. And all eyes will be on Player to see if he can defend the title he won in spectacular fashion here last year.

On that occasion, the Grand Slam champion broke his age by 11 shots in the final round as he led his team to a six-stroke victory on 29 under par, and his individual score on the final day beat three-time Major champion Padraig Harrington.

It was a moment witnessed by Aaron Mokoena, his playing partner and a participant again in this year’s Gary Player Invitational.

“It’s great to see him still so healthy, and I hope he does win it again because he has so much energy and it rubs off on us,” said the former Bafana Bafana captain.

“For me, winning is great. But the more important thing is just to be here again supporting this great cause and helping Gary in giving back. I have so much respect for the work he does for charity. To me he is like Nelson Mandela in a white skin.”

Olympic swimming champion Roland Schoeman can certainly appreciate Player’s longevity in his sport. Schoeman will seek to become the first South African to have competed at five Olympic Games as he hopes to qualify for Rio in 2016, and says Player’s dedication to fitness has inspired him.

“Gary is a living legend. You have to admire how he broke with the tradition of the time in his sport and started training with weights and took his fitness seriously. That’s why he can still be out here at the age of 80. He eats well and takes care of himself, and for me as an athlete that’s an inspiration.”

FIELD FOR THE GARY PLAYER INVITATIONAL:

Gary Player

Wayne Player

Richard Sterne

Jean van de Velde

Thomas Levet

Emma Cabrera-Bello

Carly Booth

Danielle Montgomery

Ronan Keating

Mark Boucher

Aaron Mokoena

Brian McFadden

Johnathan Joseph

Graeme Smith

Roland Schoeman

Thomas Msengana

For more information on the Gary Player Invitational, visit www.garyplayerinvitational.com and follow @GPInvitational on Twitter - #GOLFandGIVING

Read more on:    gary player  |  golf
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