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Masters ratings increase from 2020 but lower than usual

The Telegraph

Wayne Player – son of Gary – ‘banned’ from the Masters after alleged ambush-marketing stunt

Marc Player, son of nine-time main champion Gary, has claimed his brother has been banned from The Masters for utilizing the event of final week’s honorary starter’s ceremony for “ambush marketing”. Wayne Player, who was caddying for his father on the ceremony, was extensively criticised for displaying a field of OnCore golf balls within the background of the shot as tv cameras targeted on Lee Elder. Elder, 86, was the primary black golfer to play in The Masters in 1975 and was invited to hitch common starters Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus this 12 months, a big assertion within the wake of heightened racial tensions within the United States during the last 12 months. Social media customers had been fast to sentence Wayne Player’s actions, together with his personal brother Marc who tweeted: “Embarrassing & unlawful ambush advertising and marketing by Wayne Player throughout a conventional ceremony @TheMasters # tonedeaf”. After Hideki Matsuyama’s popular victory on Sunday evening, CBS golf writer Kyle Porter posted a picture of Matsuyama’s caddie Shota Hayafuji bowing on the final green alongside one of Wayne Player holding the packet of OnCore golf balls along with the caption: “Can’t think of a tournament in recent history that’s had a more contrasting beginning and end.” Marc Player responded: “Agreed. Wayne has since correctly been banned from Augusta National and The Masters tournament. What a shame. What an embarrassment. What a bad decision to allow him on the first tee after years of similar shenanigans. My apologies to all.” When asked by Telegraph Sport if Wayne Player had been banned from the club and the tournament, Augusta National declined to comment. Wayne Player had offered an apology to Golf Digest after the initial criticism of his behaviour. “The only thought from that point was that it would be cool for fans to know what ball my dad was teeing off with,” he said. “That’s where it ends. If I’ve hurt people’s feelings, then I’m truly sorry and hope they will forgive me.” It is not the first time Wayne Player, 58, has courted controversy. He was arrested for fraud in 2019 over an incident involving a house rental at the 2018 Masters. The cheque he wrote to the homeowners bounced and he failed to follow through with a payment. He spent what he described as “five nights of hell” in a Georgia jail. He was charged with one count of deposit account fraud or bad cheques totalling greater than $499 but, in a 2019 interview with The Golf Channel, he claimed the charge was dropped after the homeowners were paid in full. It is unclear whether Gary Player knew about or condoned what his son did during the starter’s ceremony. The three-time Masters champion has been an ambassador and shareholder in OnCore since April 2019, according to the company’s website. Gary Player’s representatives did not respond when contacted for comment by Telegraph Sport. In response to the controversy, OnCore’s chief executive released a statement last week distancing the company from the controversy. “We are conscious of the criticisms which have been raised because of our product being displayed by Wayne Player at this morning’s ceremonial tee shot on the Masters, most particularly through the introduction of Lee Elder, certainly one of golf’s trailblazers,” Keith Blakely wrote. “We didn’t ask or instruct Mr Player to have our ball sleeve seen through the ceremony and are sorry if his actions brought about any offense or was a distraction from the great recognition being paid to Mr Elder.”

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