It must be U.S. Open week if even former major winners and architects are cranky and having another go at each other.
Some background: The feud between Gary Player and Robert Trent Jones Jr. began in earnest at the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, where Player criticized Jones’ design and said, among other things, that the architect “had to have had one leg shorter than the other.”
For some reason, this issue was brought up again in a recent Golf Digest story, with Jones calling Player a “showboater” and sharing that they had tense encounters at last year’s Senior British Open and Rio Olympics.
Well, Player waited a couple of weeks to respond publicly, but he did so in an entertaining statement Monday in which he referenced Nelson Mandela and said that Jones, who “seems to be suffering from either amnesia or senility,” was “blatantly” lying to Digest about their meeting last summer.
According to Player, he had approached Jones at the Olympics to “try to bury the hatchet.” Jones, however, “made a big scene and later apologized.” It was there that Player recommended that Jones “take a leaf out of Mr. Mandela’s book” and move on, rather than harbor resentment and hatred.
“He has very obviously and sadly not done so,” Player said.
Here is Player’s statement in full:
My very best to the all the players, fans and the USGA as the golf world comes to Erin Hills for the year’s 2nd Major. pic.twitter.com/VL3CKGHyOo
— Gary Player (@garyplayer) June 12, 2017