Gary Player...Right or Wrong?

E Paul LianCorrespondent IApril 12, 2009

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 10:  Luke Donald of England shakes hands with Gary Player of South Africa after Player's final Masters Tournament at the 2009 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2009 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Don't get me wrong, I love Gary Player.

I love the way he keeps himself in tip-top physical condition. I love the way he has conducted himself over his brilliant career. I love his competitive spirit. I think he's been an extraordinary credit to the game of golf.

One thing however, is starting to bug me.

Why did he have to play this year?

I'm afraid the answer is pretty weak. He simply wanted to knock Arnie out of the Masters record book by participating in his 52nd Masters.

Lou Holtz resigned at Notre Dame so he wouldn't break the all time won-loss record of Knute Rockne. Holtz felt Rockne was Notre Dame football, not himself.

The Masters is Arnie's tournament, not Gary Player's.  It's America's tournament, not South Africa's. The old adage, "discretion is the better part of valor", would seem to apply in this situation.

I'm afraid Mr Player has tarnished...not enhanced...his image with the golf fans of the world.