Golf Legend Gary Player Praises America In Masters Speech: 'If You're Here, You're So Blessed'


Golfing legend Gary Player, a native of South Africa, took time to praise America as the greatest country in the world while kicking off The Masters on Thursday.

“And I never forget to mention this; to come to this great country the United States of America, if you’re here, you are so blessed and you should kiss the ground every day,” Player told the crowd. “And just appreciate what this country’s done for the world, not only for yourself, And just appreciate what this country’s done for the world, not only for yourself, but it’s about time America started doing more for their own.”

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“Just appreciate what this country has done for the world – not only for yourself. It’s about time that America started doing more for their own,” he added.

Player, 88, served as an honorary starter at the 88th Masters Tournament alongside fellow legends of the game in Jack Niklaus and Tom Watson.

The 88-year-old is one of 17 players who have won The Masters multiple times. Player has won the storied event a total of three times, with his first win coming in 1961. He ultimately won a total of nine major championships throughout his Hall of Fame career and is one of just five players who has notched a career grand slam, the others being Jack Niklaus, Ben Hogan, Gene Sarazen and Tiger Woods.

“First of all, I love life and I love people and I love my job and I’m extremely happy,” Player told reporters on Thursday. The went on to reveal that he recently visited with a specialist in India who studies the effects of aging. “He gave me, I think, the secret to longevity … ten things to work on and I do and I adhere to every day of my life,” the “world’s most traveled athlete” said.

Elsewhere in the day Thursday, Player described a meeting with former President Dwight D. Eisenhower during his first Masters appearance in 1957. Eisenhower obtained a membership at Augusta National in 1948, where there is a tree named after him after he unsuccessfully lobbied to have it removed.

While several presidents were frequent visitors to the historic course, Eisenhower is the only one who became a member.

“He’s a man who believed in freedom, and what he did for this great country, you can’t describe it. I had such admiration for him,” Player said of the legendary president.

Las Vegas News Magazine

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