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Masters countdown – one day remains: 60 years since Gary Player became the first away winner |  Golf news


South African player Gary Player ended the dominance of American golfers at Augusta National with his first Masters victory in 1961; watch this year’s Masters live on Sky Sports The Masters from 2 p.m. Thursday

Last updated: 06/04/21 14:31 pm



Masters countdown – one day remains: 60 years since Gary Player became the first away winner |  Golf news







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This year’s Masters marks the 60th anniversary of Gary Player becoming the first international winner at Augusta National

This year’s Masters marks the 60th anniversary of Gary Player becoming the first international winner at Augusta National

With just one day before this year’s Masters, we take a look back at 1961 when Gary Player became the first overseas winner at Augusta National.

For 27 years, the Masters was widely viewed as a closed store, an exclusively American stronghold with invitations to foreign players limited to the privileged few.

However, that all changed in 1961 when the South African player became the first international champion at Augusta National and became one of the course’s most popular visitors over the next 60 years.

The then 25-year-old held a four-stroke lead over defending champion Arnold Palmer after three rounds, but heavy rain interrupted Sunday’s final round after the leaders played 11 holes, the scores erased and the whole tour replayed the next day.

Masters countdown – one day remains: 60 years since Gary Player became the first away winner |  Golf news

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On Monday, Player had four points for the last nine as Palmer claimed a one-shot lead to the final hole, but the American doubled up on the 18th as Player displayed his bunker skills with a nice up and down for through.

This late drama secured Player a historic one-stroke victory and the first of his three green jackets.

Masters countdown – one day remains: 60 years since Gary Player became the first away winner |  Golf news

Arnold Palmer (left) helps the player with the green jacket after his 1961 Masters win

“It was a very important thing because it encouraged a lot of people to do the same,” Player said later. “There is an international player who can do it. It really wasn’t the desire to play around the world.”

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Writing on his own website on the 50th anniversary of the victory, Player, who also won at Augusta in 1974 and 1978, added: “Augusta National is a special place and the Masters is a special tournament. amazing and being the first international player to win the Masters is one of the proudest achievements of my career. “

Masters countdown – one day remains: 60 years since Gary Player became the first away winner |  Golf news

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