Masters 2022: Social media reacts to Gary Player’s controversial logo during honorary starter ceremony | Golf news and tour information
AUGUSTA, Ga. — For the second year in a row, the Masters’ honorary starter ceremony prompted discussion that stretched beyond the opening tees.
During Thursday’s ceremony, fans on social media noticed a Saudi Gulf logo on Gary Player’s quarter-zip sweater along with his golf bag. Companies that join honorary starters are not new; Co-starters Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson were decked out with many advertisers. However, the Saudi golf company – essentially an offshoot of the Saudi Arabian government – is highly controversial in the sport as it seeks to create a league to rival the PGA and European Tours.
Because of this, many took to Twitter after the ceremony to question the player’s sponsorship choice.
What happened during last year’s ceremony reinforced matters. In 2021, Lee Elder was recognized at the first tee for breaking the tournament’s color barrier in 1975. The moment was sadly hijacked by Gary Player’s son Wayne, who in his moment lined up behind Elder in a brazen attempt at guerrilla marketing for Oncore Golf Balls. The move backfired, and the company apologized and said it had no idea of Wayne’s efforts.
Player was appointed Saudi Golf Ambassador in April 2021. “I have long admired the vision of Golf Saudi, but more important is the work that is being done locally to make the sport accessible to all levels,” Player said in the announcement.
More Masters 2022 stories from Golf Digest