Player Hurt Masters Forcing Him Out


Gary Player, who plans to play in his 46th and final Masters April 10-13, told that he is unhappy the Masters is forcing him out.
At 67, the three-time winner is three years shy of the age at which he intended to cease competing. Club chairman Hootie Johnson last year revoked the lifetime exemption awarded to Masters winners, saying an age limit of 65 now will be invoked.
'Augusta has made me feel pretty sad,' Player told the tour website. 'They promise you an exemption and then they take it away. I was hoping to play until I was 70. I felt I would be competitive until then. I didn't want to play for a lifetime, just until 70 and then I'd have been happy to quit playing. I'd have been satisfied.'
Player questions the rule's fairness.
'It's just such a surprise when they have a rule in place - it's a rule - that you have a lifetime exemption,' Player said. 'Augusta doesn't enter my mind now. It hurts too much. You always had Augusta in mind, even this early in the year, and now I'm sour toward it.'
He will complete his Masters trip this year and then will not return, even for the annual Champion's Dinner on the Tuesday prior to the tournament.
'You don't feel welcome,' he said. 'Many of the top players I've spoken to have said the same thing: they don't feel welcome. After this year there will be no reason for me to return.'