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Legendary golfer Gary Player shares patriotic message at Masters: ‘You should kiss the ground every day’

Gary Player will never take his opportunity to play golf for granted.

The three-time Masters winner played at Augusta for the final time in 2009, 52 years after his first, and was named an honorary starter in 2012.

Once again, he, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson teed off to kick off the tournament, an honor also held by Arnold Palmer, Lee Elder, Sam Snead, Gene Sarazen and other legends.

When kicking off the tournament once again, the nine-time major winner and South African native gave a patriotic speech, giving credit to the country in which he became a global icon.

“I never forget to mention this, but coming to this great country, the United States of America, if you are here, you are so blessed. You should kiss the ground every day, and just appreciate what this country has done for the world, not only for yourself, but it’s about time America started doing more for their own,” Player said after his tee shot.

Gary Player teeing off


“Well, obviously, having been here or associated with Augusta for 67 years and having come here for the first time in ’57 and met one of my heroes, President Eisenhower, because as we all know, he’s a man who believed in freedom, and what he did for this great country, you can’t describe it,” he continued, via OutKick. “I had such admiration for him. I think the best way to describe it, which is really apt, is gratitude, how fortunate we are. And I’ve traveled more miles than any human being that’s ever lived now, and my eyes have seen things that are enjoyable, but also very sad. 

“And so you come here to this great country of the United States, the greatest country that God ever made, and that’s a privilege, and an honor, and to be part of this tournament is something that is much appreciated.”

Gary Player after tee shot

Player won the green jacket in 1961, 1974, and 1978, and had a dozen other top-10 finishes.

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