Gary Player will become the 10th person in history to receive the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award. The Tour will bestow the honor on the South African great at The Players Championship on May 9.
Created in 1996, the award honors Tour contributions made over an extended period of time through actions on and off the course.
Player joins Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Sam Snead, Jackie Burke Jr., Pete Dye, Deane Beman, Jack Nicklaus, and former President George H.W. Bush as prior recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
“This is a great honor,” said Player. “Golf has allowed me to live a truly blessed life, and I have tried my best to give something back to the sport. Being recognized with true gentlemen of the sport like Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson and Jack Nicklaus is humbling, and I will continue to help promote and support this wonderful game until the day I die.”
The 76-year-old Player won nine major championships, 24 times on the PGA Tour and 165 tournaments around the world. As a golf architect, he has had a hand in over 300 golf courses. He captained the International squad in the Presidents Cup in 2005 and '07.
“As one of the most accomplished – not to mention most-traveled – players in all of sports, Gary Player’s love of golf and his desire to use his talents to help everyone he comes in contact with make him most deserving of the PGA Tour’s Lifetime Achievement Award,” said PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem in a release.
“You would be hard pressed to find an aspect of the game or corner of the world that hasn’t been influenced by Gary and his positive attitude over the past 50-plus years.”
Player gained entry into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974. He won the Tour's Payne Stewart Award in 2006, awarded for his philanthropic efforts – including raising $50 million through his foundation to improve education in his home country.