Player family feud intensifies as son Marc slams Gary's 'baseless' auction allegations

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Marc Player, son and former manager of SA golfing legend Gary, and his legal representatives have come out swinging to counter an earlier allegation that he's put several pieces of memorabilia up for auction without permission.

In a statement released on Monday, Gary - a nine-time major winner - said that he would be taking "action" to recover the items that he alleges belongs to him.

However, Marc, through his lawyer Darren Heitner, responded that his father's claim to the admittedly unidentified items are "baseless" and "smacks of a continued petty effort by Gary's advisors to besmirch Marc's name and reputation wherever possible".

Instead, he details his extensive efforts back in 2002 cataloguing over 300 items in conjunction with Christie's London from Gary's career.

"Many of these items were scattered around the world or not actually won by Gary Player but commissioned by Marc Player from artists or purchased from various other collectors," the statement read.

It's further alleged that this collection - apparently labelled the Christie's Gary Player Collection - was then sold to South African business heavyweight Johann Rupert because Gary couldn't repay millions in outstanding taxes owed to the South African Revenue Service. 

"The agreement between Gary Player and his son was simply that, if this Christie's collection was ever to be sold, they would split the proceeds equally given the time, effort and cost involved related to Marc's efforts," the statement continued.

"To date, Marc Player has not received any compensation whatsoever."

The communique also noted that "all other trophies and memorabilia" was "validly gifted" to Marc by his parents and that have been in his possession for decades.

"For Gary to claim these other items belong to him and that he has never sold trophies or memorabilia is simply not true, and to then interfere in Marc's personal collection [is legally wrong]."

Marc reiterated that he wanted to keep the saga out of the public sphere, but had been "compelled" to do so.

This latest spat continues a long-running feud, which came to a head in 2020 when a disputed $5 million settlement through arbitration dispute between the 86-year-old and the Gary Player Group - his company operated by Marc - was awarded over ownership and naming rights. 

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