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Gary Player’s son ‘banned from the Masters’ for perceived guerrilla marketing

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As the cameras focused on Lee Elder during last week’s honorary starter’s ceremony at Augusta, Gary Player’s son, Wayne, stood directly behind the 86-year-old displaying a sleeve of OnCore golf balls.

Golf fans on social media were outraged by what they had seen and accused Wayne Player of deliberate guerrilla marketing during a moment where the focus was on the first black man to play in the Masters.

According to Wayne’s estranged brother, Marc, Augusta National has since taken action and banned Player, Jr. for the incident.

During Thursday’s opening ceremony, Wayne Player was seen holding the OnCore balls, a company which his father Gary has been an ambassador for since 2018, in several shots during Elder’s introduction.

In response to the criticism, Wayne told Golf Digest that there was “zero intent” in his actions during the ceremony, saying:

“The only thought from that point was that it would be cool for fans to know what ball my dad was teeing off with. That’s where it ends. If I’ve hurt people’s feelings then I’m truly sorry and hope they will forgive me.”

OnCore also told the publication that they did not ask or instruct Wayne Player to visibly display a sleeve of balls next to Lee Elder.

Per Wayne’s brother, Marc Player, his sibling has since been banned from Augusta National and the Masters, who responded to a tweet from CBS’ Kyle Porter on social media saying:

“Agreed. Wayne has since correctly been banned from Augusta National and The Masters tournament. What a shame. What an embarrassment. What a bad decision to allow him on the first tee after years of similar shenanigans. My apologies to all.”

It’s yet another controversy for Wayne Player, who was arrested in 2019 on fraud charges surrounding a rental agreement for a house at the 2018 Masters.

 

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Gianni is the Managing Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected]

37 Comments

37 Comments

  1. Pingback: Golf legend ranks the Masters FOURTH out of the majors – GolfWRX

  2. Barry Goodman

    Jun 26, 2021 at 6:58 pm

    The difference between what Garry’s son did & everyone else;
    He held the product in his hand to show it off.
    To highlife it.
    To make it stand out.
    Hoping to grab some attention away from Mr. Elder.
    Most clothing have logos on them.
    If you wear a shirt, it will likely carry a logo.
    If someone held the logo away from his body to show it off for the camera behind Mr. Elder,
    That would be the same thing.
    If you can’t see that, I feel sorry for you.
    Barry

  3. BillyG

    Apr 26, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    This website is not safe.

  4. bobbyg

    Apr 26, 2021 at 2:59 pm

    Wayne Player is a donkey poker who was an arrogant jerk even in his junior playing days. He learned it from his father.

  5. Hit-the-7-iron!

    Apr 14, 2021 at 1:19 pm

    I’m of the opinion that Mr. Elder’s tribute should’ve been his own and Player’s son showed bad taste in pimping their brand without permission. It could also be perceived that TravisMathew used bad taste as well in seizing the moment on Mr. Elder’s shirt collar, yet no one is saying anything about that for some reason.

    • Fredino

      Apr 14, 2021 at 4:08 pm

      What kind of mental gymnastics are you applying, a shirt logo on a golf pro is not in the same universe of holding up a sleeve of balls for a gimmicky stunt. Get a grip on reality.

      • Old Tom

        Apr 26, 2021 at 9:21 am

        I think 7-Iron has a valid point. Advertising is advertising. So, it’s only okay to push a product if you have a contract? Have you ever heard of product placement in movies and TV shows? Is that wrong in your mind, too? Please get with the 21st century. SMH…

        • Erik Ugland

          Apr 26, 2021 at 7:07 pm

          The difference is that the public understands what the logo on a shirt is. It’s plainly a sponsorship. But when someone casually introduces a product placement in a context where the audience does not expect it, and doesn’t recognize it as essentially a commercial (which is what Player was going for), then it’s dishonest guerrilla marketing. It’s trying to make the audience believe something that is not true (that this was some authentic moment not a staged one), unlike the branding on clothes, golf bags, etc. Also, Player is a repeat offender, and the context was a little more sacred than usual (recognition of Lee Elder).

        • Thomas A

          Apr 27, 2021 at 9:57 am

          Lee Elder chose to wear the Travis Matthews shirt. He did not choose to hock Gary Player’s golf balls. If you can’t see the difference, you need to get with the 21st century.

        • Rascal

          May 2, 2021 at 4:33 pm

          Both you and 7-iron are dummies.

  6. JP

    Apr 14, 2021 at 11:40 am

    If it were a patron’s son pulling shenanigans, the club would pull tickets from both the son AND the ticker bearer. He would lose his lifetime tickets. Those that you get on the grounds reflect directly on YOU.

    They should hold Gary player to the same standard and ban him AND his son.

    • jbone

      Apr 28, 2021 at 8:30 am

      Well he’s won the masters and deserves to be there so go cry about it.

  7. Tom M Roberts

    Apr 14, 2021 at 10:34 am

    All the players are a marketing billboard. Ever notice how, when photo’d, they have their sponsors equipment facing the camera. This whole thing is total BS.

  8. David McGee

    Apr 14, 2021 at 9:48 am

    Really this is news? Who cares?

  9. Rocket

    Apr 13, 2021 at 3:46 pm

    Seems to me the folks at the Masters have way too much power.

    • joe

      Apr 14, 2021 at 10:01 am

      they always have.

      • Funkaholic

        Apr 14, 2021 at 10:10 am

        It is their tournament, they own the whole thing. What is “too much” power? Player and his son are both doucehbags.

    • Thomas A

      Apr 27, 2021 at 9:59 am

      Over the guests at their own club? That’s some mental gymnastics.

  10. Carolyn

    Apr 13, 2021 at 1:23 pm

    Nothing new here, every club, ball, shirt shoe etc. company uses the Tours to sell product…do you really think players could shoot the low scores they shoot or play on perfect courses without money being poured in by sponsors….Pro Golf is a business, now the Masters is run a little different in it is run by some of the most elite and rich people in the world so they do have more room then most tournaments and for sure they use that power…but week in and week out your seeing the best players in the world advertising for sponsors all day just being good does not earn you millions….

    • Adam Boyle

      Apr 13, 2021 at 4:28 pm

      Of course people are going to wear hats with logos on them. That doesn’t mean when someone is having their moment on TV you jump in and start waving your product around at the camera.

      • Jack Nash

        Apr 14, 2021 at 10:12 am

        You’re bang on Adam. Evidently many here can’t seem to relate to the situation.

  11. Who Cares

    Apr 13, 2021 at 1:19 pm

    irrelevant article. This did not take away from Elder’s great moment.

  12. Mo

    Apr 13, 2021 at 1:51 am

    Sleezy

  13. Paul

    Apr 12, 2021 at 8:09 pm

    He should have worn a hat and shirt with the name since that appears to be appropriate in golf. Some of the players look like NASCAR cars. I guess one is okay, but not the other.

    • Jerry

      Apr 13, 2021 at 6:32 am

      Amen.
      Social media twerps influencing masters of the universe.
      hahahahahha

      • Repete

        Apr 13, 2021 at 6:47 pm

        Outrage twitter at it again. Some nasty pieces of work really. Poor taste by Player’s son but the response from the keyboard warriors is pretty shameful.

        • mike

          Apr 28, 2021 at 7:55 am

          Next up… keyboard warrior calls out keyboard warriors.

  14. Harv Newman

    Apr 12, 2021 at 5:16 pm

    I see my comment about marketing got deleted so I’ll reiterate. ALL MARKETING IS GUERILLA MARKETING NOW.

  15. Andrew

    Apr 12, 2021 at 4:26 pm

    Gary been a narcissistic fraud for years. Where does the apple fall?

  16. Harv Newman

    Apr 12, 2021 at 3:33 pm

    All marketing is “guerilla” marketing anymore.

  17. tom

    Apr 12, 2021 at 3:23 pm

    And Gary knew nothing about it, standing 2 feet away … yeah right

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19th Hole

Report: Major champ in shock split with long-time caddie

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Even the most seemingly ideal player/caddie relationships don’t last forever, with news emerging this week of a very surprising split.

As first reported by the Irish Independent, Shane Lowry has split with long-time looper Brian ‘Bo’ Martin with sources saying that the pair had lost their “spark” or “chemistry.”

Per the report, the two had been considering going their separate ways for weeks, and after an inconsistent start to the new season, Lowry has decided to shake things up.

The pair enjoyed plenty of success during their relationship, with the high point coming at an emotional Open victory for the Irishman at Royal Portrush in 2019.

However, things did not appear all rosy between the two in recent times, most notably at the 2022 Masters, when Shane delivered an on-course rant at this caddie, who he blamed for a poor layup decision.

The 35-year-old is now in the market for a full-time caddie and will likely want to snap up one soon, with the Ryder Cup coming later in the year.

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19th Hole

Phil Mickelson believes he’ll be able to play PGA Tour events again a lot sooner than you would think

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In a new wide-ranging interview with Bob Harig of Sports Illustrated, Mickelson has been speaking on a renewed focus, not interfering with rows between tours and his peace with being where he is in terms of a return to the main tours.

The 52-year-old said that he is “in fantastic shape. I’ve never had injuries. I’ve made changes. I’m just putting last year out of my mind and disengaging. A lot of stuff happened, and I’m refocused on today and starting the year.”

Confirming he still has the desire to compete at the highest level, Mickelson told Bob Harig, “I’m in every major for the next three years and I think I have a chance to win one or two more and create these accomplishments that haven’t been done at this stage. I feel like I can duplicate Kiawah.”

Kiawah was, of course, the venue at which Mickelson became the oldest-ever major champion, an event he was forced to withdraw from last season, and therefore unable to defend his sixth major.

He still believes he has what it takes, saying, “Now that I’ve had this time off, I’m ready to have a special year and do some things that have never been done by a player my age. That’s really what is driving me. It’s a unique opportunity nobody else has ever had.”

Mickelson maintains he still has good friends on both sides of the tour versus tour row, telling Harig:

“The relationships that are going to be affected were not really close and were more acquaintances. Their views are going to be altered by public perception or whatnot. The friends are still close.”

He is keen to forget what has happened, preferring not to comment on the current McIlroy/Reed saga – “That’s between them. That’s not really my thing or anything I want to get into,” but says he is fine with any decision regarding his own future on the PGA Tour.

“If I were never to play another PGA Tour event, I’m totally at peace with it,” confirmed Lefty.

“But I believe by next year I’ll have the opportunity if I want [due to the pending litigation]. I don’t know if I’ll have the time.”

“I’m playing 19 events and don’t know how much more. I’d actually rather scale down the number of tournaments, because I’m also in the four majors. That’s a lot of golf.”

“But,” he said, I’m motivated and excited to get started. All of these things create new energy. Having teammates to push each other. I’m motivated, but I don’t see the benefit to playing more. The tournaments where you are going to leave a mark are the majors. That creates a life memory. If I win another Tour event, who cares? It’s not like it’s going to do anything for how I look at my career. Another major would be a unique, special moment. That’s really where I want to thrive. And sure, it would mean a lot to win some LIV events because of the role I’ve played as it’s been created.”

As with a handful of European tour players, there was a time when specific names would almost certainly be Ryder Cup captains.

Harig asked Mickelson how it felt to maybe not finish his own Ryder Cup legacy in a similar vein:

“I’m totally comfortable. … I’ve loved being part of the Ryder Cup as a player 12 times and as a vice captain once. I’ve had more great experiences than probably anybody. If I’m not a part of it, I’m at peace with that as well. And I’m proud of the role I’ve played in that. And the role in creating change and integrating player input and involvement. Having more continuity from year to year. I like seeing us play our best golf in the Ryder Cup, even if I’m not ever part of it again.”

Lefty speaks about his role at LIV, how he likes that, “we’re bringing golf to different parts of the world. And LIV has some of the greatest characters in the game. Controversial characters. Good or bad, love them or hate them, people are interested in them, positively or negatively,” and also comments on the current OWGR world rankings, saying, “This one has lost any credibility.”

Ultimately, it appears Mickelson has had enough of the fighting, and summed it up by answering how he would look back on this period in a few years.

“It’s a short-term disruption for a long-term gain. That’s all.”

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19th Hole

Phil Mickelson says it’s harder to win on LIV than PGA Tour in wild (and amusing) Twitter return

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Phil Mickelson is active once again on Twitter and is spicing things up in typical Lefty fashion.

There are tomes now written about the 52-year-old since last May, when he pulled out of the defence of his PGA Championship crown,  joined LIV, justified the choice, and spoke of never taking part in an interview with Alan Shipnuck. Each story providing its own element of Lefty as we know him.

Over the weekend, Mickelson posted a tweet that most interpreted as a dig at the PGA Tour’s non-shorts policy, saying:

Then the three-time Masters champ has ramped it up, going after the world number one, Rory McIlroy. In a back-handed compliment, Lefty requested that viewers “see if he can finish it off,” while capitalizing the word “Dubai” and making sure everyone knew the event was being held in the middle east.

The replies were biting but, let’s face it, quite amusing!

To the comment that his career has been loaded with Sunday chokes, especially in majors, Mickelson replies, “I have won 6 though,” a jibe at McIlroy with four majors and none since 2014?

Of course, with less than a month to the start of the 2023 LIV calendar, it is time to ramp up interest again, particularly with a brand new broadcasting agreement.

Mickelson even made a cheeky claim that LIV events are tougher than PGA Tour events, since he’s yet to win on LIV but has “won 45 of those PGA thingies.”

Whatever Mickelson might or might not say and how much we are to believe him, he’s doing the job of generating noise if not interest.

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