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|edHelper's suggested reading level:||grades 5 to 7|
|Flesch-Kincaid grade level:||6.28|
By Jane Runyon
1 Gary Player is a positive role model. He proves that you don't have to be big and muscular to be a great athlete. He is 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs only 150 pounds. Yet Gary Player achieved success as a professional golfer that few have known.
2 Gary Player was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. The date was November 1, 1935. His father was a gold miner. Golf became an important part of his life at a very early age. He turned professional at the age of 18. Turning professional meant that he could get paid for playing the game he loved. Playing in tournaments also provided him with a ticket out of South Africa and into the world.
3 Player was a firm believer in physical fitness. He exercised daily. He ate the right foods to keep himself healthy. He could be seen eating raisins and sunflower seeds while playing rounds of golf. He became known as the "Black Knight" in golfing circles. People called him this because of his tradition of wearing black clothing on the golf course.
4 Player could have given up his dream at an early age. In 1955, he traveled to England from South Africa to play in a golf tournament. While there, he was told that he didn't have what it took to become a good professional golfer. Player took the challenge and worked even harder to achieve his goal. A year later he returned to England and won that very same tournament.
5 In Player's years in the PGA (Professional Golfers Association), he managed to win three British Open crowns, one United States Open, two United States PGA titles, and earned the honored green jacket as winner of the Masters tournament three times.
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