Two years on from the 2015 US Open, the spat between nine-time major champion Gary Player and Chambers Bay course designer Robert Trent Jones Jr has been well and truly reignited.
On the Saturday morning of the tournament, you may remember Player went live on Golf Channel and called it ‘the most unpleasant golf tournament I've seen in my life’, before adding: “The man who designed this golf course had to have had one leg shorter than the other.”
That man was Jones Jr and, in a recent interview with GolfDigest, he gave his thoughts on Player’s comments from the event.
“Gary Player wasn’t playing in the tournament,” he said. “I think Player, as we all know him, is kind of a showboater. For whatever reason he chose to make those comments.”
According to Jones Jr (below), Player avoided him at the Senior Open the following month, but they did speak for the first time since Chambers Bay at last year’s Olympics, where Player was the team captain of South Africa.
However, the ‘showboater’ comment has not gone down well with the Black Knight. A lengthy 618-word statement has been released on Player's website entitled, ‘Robert Trent Jones Jr continues to disrespect the USGA, golf and Gary Player’.
“Jones Jr showed he clearly cannot accept any criticism and remains overly defensive about his design work,” part of the statement read. “Nearly two years later, Jones Jr proceeded to call Player a “showboater” for his comments, and even questioned Player’s attendance at the championship and the Olympic Games.
“Jones attended both events as a fan while Player was there as a past champion and at the Olympics as the captain of the South African team. For Jones to question why Player was there at all shows disrespect for everything that golf’s global ambassador has done for the golf industry worldwide for seven decades.
“And who better to speak for all golfers than a grand slam champion and designer of 400 golf courses around the world?
“If you have ever spoke to Gary Player directly, you know he never is wary of broaching any subject. Jones Jr claimed Player avoided him at the Senior British Open and later apologised for his comments while both were at the Olympics. This is simply not true.”
Mr Jones Jr, we await your response with bated breath.