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Vivienne Player, the wife of Hall of Famer Gary Player, died Wednesday following a yearlong battle with pancreatic cancer.
Gary and Vivienne were childhood sweethearts who met when he was 14. They were married for 64 years and, together, the couple had six children and 22 grandchildren.
“I cannot describe the deep sense of sadness I feel at having lost the one person who has always meant the world to me,” he said in a statement announcing the news.
Statement of Gary Player on the passing of his wife, Vivienne. pic.twitter.com/Qg7pDbYBub
— GARY PLAYER (@garyplayer) August 18, 2021
Vivienne was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in June 2020. The PGA Tour, USGA and R&A were among those who sent their condolences to Player on social media.
“When we first met, I had no doubt it was love at first sight and it turned out to be a love story of a lifetime,” Player said. “I believe it will also be so when we are finally together again. Until then, I will miss my Viv dearly.”
We all feel your immense loss and sadness. I’m appreciative to have gotten to know her and I know how much you loved sharing your life with her. Our hearts are with you and your family.
— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) August 18, 2021
We in the golfing world send you and your family our deepest sympathies in this time of great sorrow. Vivienne always shined a light anywhere she went. We will miss her greatly.
— Tom Watson (@TomWatsonPGA) August 18, 2021
@carminita78 and I are so sad to hear this news.
We always cherished and enjoyed the time we were able to spend with Mrs Player.
All our love to you and the family…🙏🏼
— Trevor Immelman (@TrevorImmelman) August 18, 2021
My sincerest condolences to you Gary and your family on the passing of your wife Vivienne.
— Karrie Webb AO (@Karrie_Webb) August 19, 2021
Astrid and I send you @garyplayer and the family our deepest condolences on the loss of Vivienne who was a truly wonderful lady. We’ll miss knowing she’s no longer there RIP
— Tony Jacklin CBE (@jacklin_tony) August 18, 2021
My thoughts and prayers are with @garyplayer and his family today. My sincere condolences for your loss 🙏
— Louis Oosthuizen (@Louis57TM) August 18, 2021
A sad day has come, as we must say goodbye to Vivienne Player. May she rest pain free and in peace. What a wonderful lady she was and surely her kind spirit lives on. 🕊 Our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the entire Player family. pic.twitter.com/ord51NeExd
— Faldo⛳️SirNick&Lindz (@SNFLLF) August 18, 2021