The Black Knight, Gary Player, celebrates his 78th birthday today.
One of the game's biggest legends, Player is a 9-time major champion and -- even at his advanced age -- could probably still beat many of the PGA Tour's younger stars in a sit-up contest. Player does 1,000 crunches per day (how does that donut taste?):Here's a brief look at some of Player's amazing accomplishments through the years:
- 24 wins on the PGA Tour
- three-time Masters champion (1961, 1974, 1978)
- 1965 U.S. Open winner
- three-time Open Champion (1959, 1968, 1974)
- Two-time PGA Champion (1962, 1972)
- 73 wins between 1955 and 1981 on South Africa's Sunshine Tour
- World Golf Hall of Fame member
- Voted "Sportsman of the Century" in South Africa in the year 2000
- Part of the "Big Three" which also includes legends Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, with whom Player is an honorary starter at the Masters
Player is also the self-proclaimed "most traveled" athlete in the world. You'd be crazy to argue against him there, as he estimates he's flown over 15 million miles.
There's nothing that isn't cool about Player. And there's also this -- he's embraced Twitter. Give him a follow, @garyplayer. Each Monday, Player makes it a point to send out a congratulatory tweet to the winners of golf events all over the world. How cool is that?
Happy birthday, Mr. Player!
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.