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Gary Player urges Matt Fitzpatrick to avoid the ‘poison’ of modern training

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Nine-time Grand Slam winner Gary Player has urged new US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick not to change his game in the wake of his breakthrough as others who “can’t play anymore”.

The outspoken, 86-year-old claims there are at least a dozen recent major winners who have no chance of succeeding on the biggest stage again as they have been “poisoned” by modern training methods in an attempt to to get to the next. level.

The player singled out Bryson DeChambeau, who has been pushing the limits of distance off the tee, winning just once on the PGA Tour since his 2020 US Open win.

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DeChambeau hasn’t come close to competing in a major lately and has subsequently cast his lot with the LIV Golf Series.

There have been 14 different winners of the last 15 majors, but of the nine maiden wins on record, only one, defending Open champion Collin Morikawa, managed to add a second title.

“We’re going through a very interesting stage in golf right now,” Player told the PA news agency.

“There must be 12 major championship winners who can no longer play. This has never happened in the history of golf.

“Teaching today is the worst it has ever been, and yet they have all the technology in the world.

“There are at least 12 guys that have won one or two majors and as soon as they win, for some unknown reason, they go and get lessons from people who have never been in the arena and don’t know what they’re talking about, but they’re big salesmen.

“The teachers today are very good for the members and the youth, but when it comes to teaching a player on tour, you have to know what you are doing and most of the ones who are teaching have ruined careers.

The player’s advice to Fitzpatrick, who is incredibly self-analytical to the point of taking notes on every shot he plays, was: “Don’t see a soul. Stay away from them, absolutely.

“A lot of what players are being taught today is nonsense. What they are teaching is poison, no wonder these guys can’t play anymore. It’s very sad to see.”

In the past 15 majors, only Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, last month’s US PGA champion Justin Thomas and Morikawa have managed to add to their existing roster.

Fitzpatrick has set himself the goal of emulating fellow Englishman Sir Nick Faldo to reach six, but Player believes that will be a tall order even in an era that lacks what he believes to be genuine “superstars”.

“Yes, it is possible but very unlikely that he will equal Nick Faldo’s record, but you have to have that dream,” added the South African, who to celebrate the 150th Open Championship next month in St Andrews is touring schools, golf clubs and HSBC branches with the Claret Pitcher.

“It is no more difficult to win today than many years ago. Do you think the players are as good as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Raymond Floyd? No, I don’t think they’re that good.

“Nobody playing today is as good as Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan or Sam Snead.

“There is no one who is dominating and it is the first time that I remember that you cannot choose three players and say: ‘They are the three best’.

“You have a guy like DeChambeau come in and get people excited by winning the US Open and then he’s gone.

“It’s pretty exciting, but it shows that no one is dominating.”

:: Gary Player supports the 150th Open Championship Claret Jug Tour, in association with HSBC UK. For more information visit TheOpen.com and follow @TheOpen and @HSBC_UK. Fans can now get on the ticket ballot for The 151st Open at Royal Liverpool with results announced by the end of September. To get on the ballot, fans must be a member of The One Club’s free membership program.

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