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.
They’ve just shown the starters ceremony again on Sky. Heavens above that is undignified from Gary Player’s son. One of those like so many where I was wary of covering it, but now think I could have gone in harder. pic.twitter.com/gf7Z20mg3Y
— Nick Metcalfe (@Nick_Metcalfe) April 10, 2021
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.
Phil Mickelson’s PGA Championship winning Odyssey putter could be on its way to retail
As far as putters go, Phil Mickelson’s Odyssey Milled Blade “Phil Mickelson” flat-stick may be one of the most admired by amateur golfers on Tour.
Golf fans have long been hoping that the blade would make its way to retail, and it appears they may finally get their wish very soon.
On Tuesday, Odyssey hinted on their Twitter that a small-batch release could be in the pipeline to commemorate Lefty’s history-making 2021 PGA Championship victory.
Phil continued his storybook 2021 with a win on the PGA TOUR Champions yesterday.
— Odyssey Golf (@odysseygolf) October 11, 2021
Phil Mickelson quickly responded to the tease from Odyssey, tweeting “I like the idea”, and golf fans were in complete agreement with the 6-time major champion, who gave their seal of approval to the idea under the post.
GolfWRXers, would you be interested in seeing a Mickelson putter release at retail?
‘Stupid is as stupid does’ – Mickelson and JT tee off on USGA and R&A’s new local rule
On Tuesday, golf’s governing bodies introduced a local rule (MLR G-10) allowing competitive tours the choice to cap driver length at events to 46 inches.
As expected, some tour pro’s, particularly Phil Mickelson, were not best pleased.
Being one of the few tour pros to use a driver longer than 46 inches, Lefty described the rumored new rule as “pathetic” back in August. On hearing the announcement on Tuesday, Mickelson broke out a Forrest Gump quote to slam the USGA and R&A’s decision.
Mickelson wasn’t the only tour pro to hit out at golf’s governing bodies, with Justin Thomas also taking to Twitter to have his say. The 28-year-old branded the rule as “awful” before explaining his stance to a user who accused him of whining.
Speaking to the press at this week’s CJ Cup, JT further explained his opposition to the new rule, saying
“I don’t really agree with it. I feel like there’s a lot of other things, you know, like the arm-bar putter that they should be approaching as opposed to the length of driver. I think the fact that you see only a few people using a long driver speaks for itself, that it’s not really that big of an advantage. It’s a lot harder to hit it straight.
In terms of do I think it makes the game of golf and growing the game better? No, I don’t at all, but they seem to have their kind of mind around that for a while now. … If there’s guys out here that want to have a chance to put it in play with a 47-, 48-inch driver, then power to them. I had that opportunity; I just chose not to.”
The new rule will come into effect from January 1, 2022.
It’s good from deep! Former NFL kicker makes albatross at TPC Sawgrass
Former NFL player Josh Scobee, who spent 12 years place kicking for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Pittsburgh Steelers, and New Orleans Saints, just showed us how he’s been spending his retirement.
On Monday, the NFL veteran shared an incredible video to social media which shows him making albatross on TPC Sawgrass’ ninth-hole.
— Josh Scobee (@JoshScobee10) October 11, 2021
The man who once tied the NFL record for most 50 yard plus field goals in a single game, apparently is pretty good from deep in golf as well. 244 yards with a five-wood is no joke.
As you can hear in the video, the shot was also into the wind, for those keeping track at home.
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