Player has won in five decades
April 9, 1978 - Four years removed from his last major championship, Gary Player had breakfast with his agent, Mark McCormack, on the fourth day of the Masters. McCormack told Player he was leaving Augusta before the final round ended. "I don't have anybody in contention," the agent said.
"What about me?" asked Player.
"You have to be kidding," McCormack replied. "You're seven strokes behind."
He should have stayed. Player carded a 64 to tie the course record. On the back nine, he shot a 6-under-par 30, including birdies on three of Augusta National's most dangerous holes: the 485-yard, par-4 10th, and a pair of treacherous par-3 water holes, the 12th and 16th. When he rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt at 18, the 42-year-old Player, who had entered the final round tied for 10th place, took the lead at 11 under.
Positioned to win his third Masters and become the tournament's oldest champion, Player then had to wait 45 excruciating minutes as Hubert Green, Tom Watson and Rod Funseth, all within striking distance, finished their rounds. Watson and Green, each at 11 under, bogeyed 18. Funseth, at 10 under, barely missed a 20-foot birdie putt.
Player, the champion, celebrated by playing another round with his 15-year-old son, Wayne. McCormack wasn't there to make it a threesome.
Odds 'n' Ends