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When I met Gary Player

When I met Gary in Savannah, Georgia in 2012 it was truly a pleasure. It can be quite intimidating to meet such a legend, but not with this guy! I’ve been involved in the world of professional golf since 2000 and won my only tournament (as a caddy) on the Nationwide Tour in Louisiana in 2003.

Dear Mr. Player,

I have met and befriended many players on the PGA Tour over the years but not one can hold a candle close to you. You are an incredible human being. All should learn from you and take your valuable life lessons to heart. In the one day we spent together you inspired myself and my daughter, Taylor, to be better people. Thank you for all you do for animals, children and charities across the globe. This world is a better place because of you.

Wow. Eighty years on this planet. Just look what you have accomplished! The best trophy you have ever won? Your beautiful wife, Vivienne Verwey Player. Your love story has inspired me in my relationship with your nephew Bobby Jr. Life is about love, compassion, forgiveness and communication. Because of you, our relationship has blossomed over the past six years and I can’t wait to be an “official” part of the family next summer in South Africa. If it weren’t for the game of golf, and Bobby’s stories about your time together, my life would be a very boring one!

Happy 80th Birthday Uncle Gabs! Your love for the game and life is an inspiration to me and so many others. I so wish we could be there with you to celebrate this tremendous milestone in your life, but know we are there with you in spirit. We will see you in Augusta in the spring, I promise!

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” -Nelson Mandela

Sincerely,

Michele Ikerd

#iMetGary

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Check out those pants! Just for fun, can you name what event and year this is from?

One of my duties is to help grow the game, so it’s always a good day when I get to meet young golfers and try to cultivate a passion for the game. I had a great time with @FirstTeePhilly - a youth development organization introducing golf and its inherent values to young people.

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Sweet memories with Vivienne and our eldest daughter, Jennifer. Success would not be the same if you are unable to enjoy it with your family.

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