Wayne Player Clarifies Motive Behind Controversial Moment That Got Him Banned From the Masters

Published 04/14/2021, 12:30 PM EDT
Golf – The Masters – Augusta National Golf Club – Augusta, Georgia, U.S. – April 8, 2021 The names of honorary starters Jack Nicklaus of the U.S., South Africa’s Gary Player and Lee Elder of the U.S. are displayed with their ages before the ceremonial start on the first day of play REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst


The 2021 Masters was not short with controversies despite experiencing smooth progress from the start till the end. The buzz around an incident that took place during the solemn ceremony on April 8 has still not settled down. Wayne Player was alleged to have used a guerrilla marketing tactic to promote OnCore golf balls. 

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For those who are unaware of Wayne Player, he is the son of 24-time PGA Tour winner Gary Player. The latter, along with Lee Elder and Jack Nicklaus was an honorary starter at the 2021 Masters. Wayne was attending the ceremony as his father’s caddie. 

Wayne Player got himself banner from the Masters over a controversial moment

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Player was standing behind his father Gary when Augusta National chairman was Fred Ridley rendering a recognition speech about the honorary starters. While Lee Elder was the center of attention during the honorary tee-shot ceremony, Gary Player did something that agitated a lot of fans. 

As Fred Ridley went through his speech hailing Elder for his achievements, the camera naturally focused on the four-time PGA tour winner. However, the camera also caught Wayne Player displaying a sleeve of OnCore golf balls in the background.

The moment was clearly captured and the words ‘VERO X1’ could be seen, which is the newest edition of balls manufactured by OnCore. This got everyone thinking that Wayne Player was using a really unimpressive marketing strategy to promote the OnCore golf balls.

Consequently, Augusta National took a stern decision and banned Gary Player from future tournaments. This move really affected the Player family as Wayne’s father Gary is considered a legend at the Masters. 

Read Also: Hideki Matsuyama Spotted Carrying His Masters Green Jacket Like Its a Cheap Sweater

Does Player own a stake in OnCore? 

Everybody was displeased with the fact that Wayne player tried to advertise the OnCore ‘Vero X1’ golf balls by stealing Lee Elder’s moment. However, Player recently reached out to clarify the allegations against him. 

“The only thought from that point was that it would be cool for fans to know what ball my dad was teeing off with,” Player told Golf Digest. “That’s where it ends. If I’ve hurt people’s feelings then I’m truly sorry and hope they will forgive me.”

Player informed that he had “zero intent” in marketing the balls. He was obliged to clarify his actions since he owns a stake in the OnCore ball company. But he asserted that this did not play any part in holding up the ball sleeve in front of the camera. 

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However, Wayne Player is quite disappointed that he’s been banned from the Masters forever. He did not see that coming and feels things are “getting out of hand” with regard to the massive criticism. 

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Read Also: Steph Curry and Under Armour Announce Exciting News for Golf Fans

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Arjun Athreya

1819 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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