As the world’s best tee it up at Kiawah Island, nine-time major winner Gary Player will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of his first PGA Championship victory.

South African Player became only the second international golfer to lift the Wanamaker Trophy in 1962 at Aronimink Golf Club as he held off a string of home competitors, including 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus.

“To know that it has been 50 years since I won my first PGA Championship is incredible. I have wonderful memories of my time at the PGA Championships, and winning my third Major Championship at Aronimink Golf Club was a special moment,” said Player.

“I was putting like Houdini and was able to keep the ball in play, which was the most important factor throughout the week as the rough was so high.”
One of only five golfers to complete the career Grand Slam, Player won the PGA Championship a decade later in 1972 before adding three Senior PGA Championship titles to his resume in his later years.

“I hold the PGA in high esteem because they have done so much for golf over the years and make me proud to be a professional, a PGA Member and a former champion,” added Player.

The PGA of America will celebrate the 50th anniversary with a special exhibit at the 94th PGA Championship, from August 6-12 at Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course.

“We are delighted to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Gary Player’s first PGA Championship during the 2012 tournament,” said Allen Wronowski, President of the PGA of America.

“Throughout his long and distinguished career, Gary has been a tremendous champion, a wonderful gentleman and a great ambassador for our game.”