As the 2021 Masters got underway on Thursday morning, Lee Elder joined Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player on the first tee for the ceremonial opening tee shot. Elder, the first African-American to play in the Masters back in 1975, wasn’t able to hit a tee shot due to his health, but it was still a historic moment for golf that represented so much for so many people around the world.
Gary Player’s son and caddie, Wayne, didn’t necessarily see it that way, however. He saw it as a time to do a bit of marketing.
Standing behind Elder, who was obviously going to get a lot of time on the broadcast, Wayne pulled out a sleeve of golf balls and held it in a way everyone could clearly see the label throughout the ceremony. You can see Wayne holding the sleeve of balls in the photo above standing next to his father and in more detail in the screenshots below.
— No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) April 8, 2021
Not the time or the place, Wayne, not the time or the place.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Gary was probably aware of this move Wayne decided to pull. Player has hit the Vero brand golf ball, the one Wayne was hawking behind Elder, for years now. It wouldn’t be surprising at all to learn that Player, the proud owner of one of the largest egos in sports history, was totally on board with the petty marketing scheme.
Wayne was arrested in January of 2019 in Georgia on fraud charges stemming from a rental agreement he made for housing during the 2018 Masters.