Gary Player slams Alex Salmond for boycotting Open

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GOLF legend Gary Player has criticised Alex Salmond for refusing to attend the Open at Muirfield this week.

He said the First Minister was wrong to boycott the event after saying Muirfield’s men-only membership policy was “indefensible in the 21st century”.

Player, 77, who won the Open championship at Muirfield in 1959, said Salmond was “wrong” not to visit the tournament.

He added: “Personally, I think the Scottish minister is wrong because every place you go to you can find something to demonstrate against and this is what we are finding in the world today.

“All over the world everyone is protesting and demonstrating. I just don’t believe he’s right and this is what I have learned from my great President Nelson Mandela. This is what we have learned from a man like Mahatma Gandhi. This is what we learned from a man like Martin Luther King. And this is what we have learned from probably the greatest world statesman in the world today and that is Lee Kuan Yew [Singaporean politician] and that is to communicate.”

Player, who has won nine majors, said: “Don’t protest, communicate. Show love and understanding and that is the best way to go about change, and change is the price of survival so I am very much for it.”

The South African added: “First of all this is a private club and they are entitled to do what they like.”

Take Five – Page 19