U.S. Team Captain Jack Nicklaus (2nd-R) and International Team Captain Gary Player (2nd-L) walk together with their wives Barbara (L) and Vivienne (R) during the openening ceremonies prior to the start of The Presidents Cup at The Royal Montreal Golf Club on September 26, 2007. Photo: Scott Halleran/Getty Images via AFP
U.S. Team Captain Jack Nicklaus (2nd-R) and International Team Captain Gary Player (2nd-L) walk together with their wives Barbara (L) and Vivienne (R) during the openening ceremonies prior to the start of The Presidents Cup at The Royal Montreal Golf Club on September 26, 2007. Photo: Scott Halleran/Getty Images via AFP

Ernie Els leads tributes for Vivienne Player

By Michael Sherman Time of article published Aug 19, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG, August 19 (ANA) - Ernie Els on Wednesday led the tributes for Vivienne, the wife of Gary Player, who died after battling pancreatic cancer for over a year.

The four-time major champion Els tweeted: “Sending my condolences to Gary Player on the passing of your beloved wife Vivienne.

“What a wonderful woman & what a wonderful life you shared together. My thoughts are with you my friend and of course the rest of your family at this sad time.”

Vivienne was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in June last year, and was said to have been making progress in her recovery.

ALSO READ: Gary Player’s wife Vivienne dies after battle with cancer

SA’s top-ranked Louis Oosthuizen said: “My thoughts and prayers are with Gary Player and his family today. My sincere condolences for your loss.”

The Sunshine Tour tweeted: “On behalf of all of us at the Sunshine Tour, our deepest condolences to Gary Player and the Player family on the passing of Vivienne Player.”

GolfRSA said: “It is with a heavy heart that we learned that one of golf's biggest patrons, Vivienne Player, lost her long & brave battle with cancer.

“Our sincere condolences goes out to her husband Gary, their children and grandchildren, family and friends.”

ALSO READ: Gary Player mourns death of ’soulmate’ Vivienne, wife of 64 years

The couple celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary in January this year. Player also released a statement in memory of his wife on Wednesday evening.

"The unthinkable has happened. My wife of 64 years, my childhood sweetheart, my rock and my soulmate Vivienne has lost her battle with pancreatic cancer.

"I cannot describe the deep sense of sadness I feel at having lost the one person who has always meant the world to me.”

"Vivienne has been a constant in my life from the moment I first set eyes on her when I was 14.

"She fully supported my career and raised our six children almost single-handedly while I was touring the world playing golf. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and a wonderful human being that cared so deeply for others and lived her life in service to others.

"Vivienne taught me the value of love, faith and trust. She taught our children those same values and they were blessed to have a mother who lived those values every single day.

"When we first met, I had no doubt that it was love at first sight and it turned out to be a love story of a lifetime. I believe it will also be so when we are finally together again.

"Until then, I will miss my Viv dearly.”

African News Agency (ANA)

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