Gary Player Wears controversial Saudi Golf shirt at Masters

Gary Player made a controversial wardrobe decision at the Masters.

Player, 86, was spotted on Thursday wearing a sweater emblazoned with a Saudi golf logo as he played alongside fellow Legends Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus during the ceremonial opening tee shot at Augusta National.

Backed by the Saudi government, the Saudi Golf League is the upstart Rival seeking to Disrupt the PGA Tour by offering star players more (and guaranteed) money for fewer tournaments than they are currently playing.

The Saudi Golf League, whose figurehead is Greg Norman, has been hovering over the golf ecosystem for several months and now notably made Headlines when Phil Mickelson brushed aside the country’s human rights concerns during a recent interview with a Writer.

Gary Player, right, alongside Fred Ridley, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson at The Masters.
Getty Images

“They’re scary motherf – kers to get involved with,” Mickelson said in February. “We know they killed [Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.

“They’ve been able to get by with manipulative, coercive, strong-arm tactics because we, the players, had no recourse. As nice a guy as [PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan] comes across as, unless you have leverage, they won’t do what’s right. And the Saudi money has finally given us that leverage. I’m not sure I even want [the SGL] to succeed, but just the idea of ​​it is allowing us to get things done with the [PGA] Tour. ”

Mickelson lost several sponsors, and there have been Rumors he’s been suspended by the PGA Tour, whose commissioner Jay Monahan declined in March to say if Mickelson was suspended or not.

Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley said earlier this week that the tournament did not “disinvite” Mickelson. Rather, he said, the 51-year-old chose to sit out the major on his own.

Player denounced the treatment Mickelson is receiving for his controversial comments.

“I think we live in a time now when we are such a judgmental society, a litigious society, a critical society, where people get crucified, ” Player, a nine-time major Winner and three-time Masters champ, said.

“The Greatest PR man on the golf tour in the last five or X amount of years has been Phil Mickelson. He has been the ideal man for a Sponsor, for professional golf, for the public, the way he’s handled the public, with dignity and with love. ”

Golf’s four majors are run separately from the PGA Tour and their officials have not publicly commented on the Saudi Golf League.

According to Yahoo Sports, Saudi officials have rented a house near the Masters and are continuing their attempt to woo players, agents and sponsors this week.

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