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Player: Woods' shot off flagstick cost him Masters

Gary Player
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AKRON, OH - AUGUST 03: Vijay Singh of Fiji holds the trophy after winning the World Golf Championship Bridgestone Invitational on August 3, 2008 at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)  - 

Across his Hall of Fame career, Gary Player has seen a lot in the game of golf – arguably more than any other golfer before or since. According to the South African, though, the bounce Tiger Woods received off the flagstick during the second round of the Masters stands as 'the most unlucky thing I've ever seen in my life.'

The nine-time major champion even went a step further, terming the wedge Woods played into the 15th hole that caromed off the flagstick into the water as the difference between the current world No. 1 winning and losing last April.

'If he hit a bad shot, I mean a real bad shot with a sand wedge 20 feet from the hole, I reckon he would have won the Masters,' Player explained in an interview with

Instead, Woods tied for fourth after receiving a two-shot penalty for taking an illegal drop on that fateful hole during Friday's round. In the eyes of Player, those calling for Woods to withdraw from the event in light of the illegal drop were misguided.

'I don't think Tiger did anything wrong whatsoever,' Player added.

The 77-year-old also added his assessment of Woods' attempt to catch (and break) Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major championships.

'I think he's got a great chance of passing Jack Nicklaus. Five majors is a lot. That's (Phil) Mickelson's entire career,' said Player, adding that Woods' various coaching changes have hurt his quest for Nicklaus' mark. 'All things being equal, I think that he's got a great chance of doing it.'