Gary Player on Langer's mark: I won 9 senior majors, too

By The Sports Xchange  |  May 29, 2017 at 4:54 AM
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Golf legend Gary Player is not among those praising Bernhard Langer for breaking Jack Nicklaus' record of eight major victories with a win at the Senior PGA Championship on Sunday.

That's because Player believes all Langer did with his one-stroke win at the Senior PGA championship was pull into a tie with him at nine majors victories in senior golf.

In his senior tour majors career, the 82-year-old Player won the Senior PGA Championship three times (1986, 1988 and 1990), the U.S. Senior Open twice (1987 and 1988) and the Senior Players Championship once (1987).

He also won Senior British Open Championship titles in 1988, 1990 and 1997 and said those should count along with his six other majors for a total of nine. That tournament didn't become an official major until 2003, according to Golf Digest and Langer is now recognized as the career majors leader after passing Nicklaus.

"What I would say," Player told Golf Digest, "is that every tournament has to start somewhere, and then it evolves. The Masters in 1934 was not what it would become, but every player who has won it is recognized as a major winner.

"I remember Arnold Palmer, using his word, telling me it was 'bull---' that the Senior Open Championship wasn't a major. He so regretted not winning the championship when he was playing senior golf, because playing on an old links where golf began was very special for him. I wonder, what would the status of the championship be if Arnold had won it three times?"

According to Golf Digest, getting credit for nine senior majors would not only keep the South African tied for the most, but his claim to achieving the career senior Grand Slam is based on having won the Senior Open Championship.

"My nine majors and career Grand Slam on the senior tour outrank my nine majors and career Grand Slam on the regular tour," he told Golf Digest. "It took the world a long time to realize how tough the competition was on the senior tour, and so winning all the majors in a shorter window of time is a great accomplishment. The reason I was able to do it was because at 50, I was within 10 percent of being as fit as I had been at 25."

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