Gary Player to speak at Junior Invitational at Sage Valley

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Gary Player, golf’s globetrotting ambassador, will share his inspirational story with a much younger crowd this spring.

Player will be the keynote speaker for the fourth annual Junior Invitational at Sage Valley. He will speak at the opening ceremony April 22.

The Junior Invitational, presented by Electrolux, features the top 54 junior boys in the world and has been rated the top junior event by Golfweek since its inception in 2011. The 54-hole tournament will be held April 24-26 at the private club in Graniteville.

Player, 78, is a native of South Africa and is one of only five golfers to win all four of the game’s major events in his career. In 1961 he became the first international golfer to win the Masters Tournament, and he added victories at Augusta National Golf Club in 1974 and 1978.

Now an honorary starter at the Masters alongside Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, Player competed in the Masters a record 52 times and holds numerous tournament records.

The World Golf Hall of Fame member overcame humble origins to win 165 times around the globe, including nine majors each on the regular tour and the Champions Tour. He earned his nickname Mr. Fitness for his devotion to staying in top physical shape and following a healthy diet.

With a professional career that has spanned more than six decades, Player has logged more than 15 million air miles. Although he doesn’t regularly compete on the Champions Tour anymore, Player stays active with his many business interests and his golf architecture work.

Player is the latest in a series of high-profile speakers who have participated in the Junior Invitational. The list includes Nicklaus, Jay Haas and Bill Haas, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem and former President George W. Bush.

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