How many times did Gary Player compete in the Masters Tournament?
Nowadays, as far as the Masters Tournament is concerned, Gary Player is best known as an honorary co-starter, alongside record six-time Masters champion Jack Nicklaus. However, it should not be forgotten that Player was one of the best professional golfers in the world in his heyday. All told, the ‘Black Knight’, as Player is known, won nine major championships, placing him fourth on the all-time list behind Jack Nicklaus,Tiger Woods and Walter Hagen. In 1965, at the age of 29, he won the US Open for the obe and only time but, in so doing, became just the third man in the history of golf, after Gene Sarazen and Ben Hogan, to achieve a Career Grand Slam.
However, back to the Masters Tournament, where Player first competed, at the age of 21, in 1957. He shot 75, 76 in the opening two rounds and missed the cut. He missed the cut again in 1958, but thereafter embarked on a run of 23 straight cuts – notwithstanding missing the 1973 Masters Tournament due to illness – and donned the ‘Green Jacket’ three times, in 1961, 1974 and 1978. Player last competed in the Masters Tournament in 2009 when, at the age of 73, he shot 78, 83 for a 17-over-par total of 161 for the first 36 holes. Nevertheless, he said afterwards, ‘This has been an honor for me.’ Player made a record 52 appearances at the Masters Tournament, played 164 official rounds at Augusta National Golf Club, made the cut 30 times and finished in the top ten 15 times.