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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — For Gary Player, shooting his age is no longer a challenge.

Getting out of bed in the morning, that could be a challenge for an 87-year-old. Playing putt-putt, that might take awhile for someone who’s lived in all, or parts of, 10 decades to navigate those tunnels and windmills.

The only challenge for Player each day he decides to play 18 holes is to beat his age — by 15 shots.

According to Player, his 76 at Augusta National this past Sunday — in which he said he used the cart only to go uphill — was the 3,072nd time in a row he has shot his age or better.

Impossible? Sure sounds it until he reveals the first time he shot his age was in the year 2000. At the age of 64.

You remember the major headlines of 2000 right? Bush vs. Gore. Player vs. Time.

Bush and Player were the winners.

“The last time I missed a fairway the Pope was an altar boy,” Player said Monday.

Pope Francis is one year younger than Gary Player.

Golf getting easier for Player

Gary Player was born in 1935 in Johannesburg, South Africa. That was the year Amelia Earhart became the first person to fly solo over the Pacific Ocean, appropriate considering Player estimates he has flown more than 15 million miles.

He is a part-time Jupiter Island resident who lives there four months a year, in Johannesburg four months, in Britain two months and then goes “to China or India, or Australia or somewhere like that,” for two months.

“I wanted to travel more than anybody and win in different countries,” he said.

Player spoke Monday at the Sports Business Club of the Palm Beaches event at Palm Beach Kennel Club. He hit on many subjects, including his game (which ties into his health), LIV Golf and the greatest golfer of all time.

As for his game, Player hits it about 240 yards off the tee. He got all of that two weeks ago when he, along with Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, served as the honorary starters at the Masters. He pointed out he has to shoot 16-over or better to shoot his age (he’ll be 88 in November).

“I could do that with my eyes closed,” he said.

He must have had at least one open Sunday when he apparently continued to sooth any hard feelings with the green jackets at Augusta National. Player had said it was sad that he cannot play a round with his grandchildren “without having to beg a member” to play with them, and he had ranked the Masters No. 4 among majors. Player had three birdies and finished with a 7 on No. 18, an uphill dogleg right, and still shot a 76.

And “with one hand,” he said. Player’s right hand is bandaged after requiring eight stitches from a fall from a horse on a beach in South Africa.

“I don’t find anything tough (about golf) — in my prime I found it very tough — because now you’ve got a ball that goes 50 yards farther. You got metal heads. I don’t miss the fairway. I didn’t miss a fairway (Sunday) with one hand,” Player said.

“I’m averaging par at my age. I beat my age usually by 15 shots. I average 73. It’s a completely, utterly different game. Nowhere near the same game.”

That prime was utterly impressive: Nine majors each on the PGA Tour and Tour Champions. Nearly 160 professional wins. Member of the World Golf Hall of Fame. Player, Nicklaus and the late Arnold Palmer were the original “Big Three.”

“I wanted to be the best and Arnie and Jack wanted to be the best,” he said.

Player credits his longevity to exercise (“my body’s like a 50 year old,”) along with his other tenants of life that include averaging nine hours of sleep, eating two meals a day skipping dinner (“you don’t put gas in your car when you park it in your garage at night,”) laughing, and “unmeasured love in your heart.”

“I want to live to 100,” he said.

Message to LIV golfers: Just be honest

Player says he does not believe in retirement. “I work like I worked when I was 20,” he said.

One of those jobs is as an ambassador for Golf Saudi, which consists of him “representing women’s golf, junior golf and building golf courses in bulk.” Still, that caused some controversy when he questioned those who joined the Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour.

Player on Monday reiterated his opinion that LIV is primarily for “guys that can’t win on the regular tour any more, or if they can they might win one,” plus a few others.

“My father taught me — and he was a very poor man, but a very brilliant man — always respect the other man’s opinion,” Player said. “And that’s terribly important. Whatever it may be, whether it’s politics, whatever the subject may be, respect the other man’s opinion. But just come out and say I’m joining it because of the money. Just be honest in life. Everybody’s entitled.”

Player said the one who surprised him most was Cameron Smith, who joined LIV last year when he was ranked No. 2 in the world after winning the British Open.

“What sort of a legacy is he gonna have?” Player said. “He’s such a potential champion. What legacy is he gonna have?”