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Wayne Player, the son of golf legend Gary Player, has been banned from Augusta National Golf Club and The Masters Tournament as a result of a controversial incident he was involved in during the honorary starter’s ceremony last week.

So says his estranged brother, Marc.

The 58-year-old was spotted displaying a sleeve of golf balls in the background of the shot as television cameras focused on Lee Elder during the traditional first tee event at Augusta National on Thursday morning

Elder,
86, was the first black golfer to play in The Masters and was invited to join
regular honorary starters Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus to get The Masters underway this year. 

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Ill
health prevented the four-time PGA Tour winner from joining Player and
Nicklaus hitting a shot but, as cameras trained their lenses on him,
eagle-eyed viewers were distracted by Player Jnr in the background.

He
was seen holding a sleeve of balls made by OnCore, a New York-based
ball company that Player has been an ambassador of since 2019.

Here’s the incident…

Social media users were quick to blast Player Jnr for seizing upon what should have been a poignant moment for Elder – Player’s estranged son, and Wayne’s brother, Marc amongst them.

He called the incident “embarrassing and illegal ambush marketing” and “tone-deaf”.

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Now, little more than 12 hours after Hideki Matusyama sealed his maiden major, he has taken to Twitter once again to claim that his brother has been disciplined for his behaviour.

This was not Wayne Player’s first brush with controversy in Augusta. In 2019, he was arrested on fraud charges stemming from a rental agreement he made for housing during the 2018 Masters.

A representative for Gary Player declined to comment on the matter when contacted by bunkered.co.uk, saying only: “Augusta National is best placed to confirm this.”


author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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