Gary Player’s son arrested for fraud over Masters incident

January 30, 2019

Wayne Player, the son of golf legend Gary Player, has been arrested over an incident involving a house rental at the 2018 Masters. The Augusta Chronicle reports that Wayne Gary Player, 56, was charged with deposit account fraud for a bad check on Jan. 23 in Columbia County. The arrest stemmed from an incident involving an Evans, Ga., homeowner. Player had rented a house for two nights during last year’s Masters, but his payment check bounced due to insufficient funds.

The homeowner made several attempts to contact Player via his lawyer. According to the Chronicle, Player eventually told the lawyer he would send $1,000 to cover his debts, but the homeowner never received the payment. In July, the homeowner reported the incident to police.

Wayne Player
Wayne Player at the 1979 British Open.

Wayne is the third of Gary Player’s six children and played plenty of golf with his father growing up, eventually competing against him. He played in 17 PGA Tour events as well as some of the world’s top amateur tournaments. In 1982, Wayne and Gary became the first father and son to play in the U.S. and British Opens at the same time. He found some success as an on-air personality in recent years, co-hosting a Golf Channel show and appearing on various broadcasts. Wayne lives in Tequesta, Fla., and is described in the arrest report as a self-employed event planner.

In a statement to GOLF.com, Gary Player’s team said, “Mr. Player is currently in South Africa and unaware of this unfortunate situation with his son Wayne. His position has always been that Wayne is an independent businessman that does not represent the Gary Player Group nor Mr. Player personally. We do not know the details surrounding this matter and until we find out exactly what transpired, cannot comment with any authority.”

Golf Digest also reports that the younger Player is involved in a civil suit for failing to deliver on a promotional package for the 2018 Masters. Todd Feltz and his wife claim they bought a $6,850 per-person package featuring tickets to the Par-3 Contest and the tournament, dinner and drinks with Wayne and a meet and greet with Gary and other Masters champions, among other things. According to the report, Feltz alleges that Wayne headbutted him to the ground when the two met to discuss the issue.

The promotion was connected to the “Player Amateur Tour,” of which Wayne also describes himself as the commissioner, which claims to serve as a place for amateur golfers to compare scores and compete against each other. Much of the tour’s website appears to be under construction.

Wayne Player has been released on bond.