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Gary Player: I should also be credited with 9 senior tour majors

When Bernhard Langer won the Senior PGA Championship on Sunday for his ninth major title, the record books will note he broke Jack Nicklaus' record of eight major victories on the over-50 circuit.

Gary Player disagrees.

The 82-year-old South African believes his three Senior Open Championship titles in 1988, 1990 and 1997 should count along with his six other majors for a total of nine. That tournament didn't become an official major until 2003, according to GolfDigest.

Player's argument is that all majors didn't start as majors, but some were retroactively granted that status.

"What I would say," Player told the magazine, "is that every tournament has to start somewhere, and then it evolves. The Masters in 1934 was not what it would become, but every player who has won it is recognized as a major winner.

"I remember Arnold Palmer, using his word, telling me it was 'bulls---' that the Senior Open Championship wasn't a major. He so regretted not winning the championship when he was playing senior golf, because playing on an old links where golf began was very special for him. I wonder, what would the status of the championship be if Arnold had won it three times?"

In his senior tour majors career, Player won the Senior PGA Championship three times (1986, 1988 and 1990), the U.S. Senior Open twice (1987 and 1988), and the Senior Players Championship once (1987).

Player tweeted Sunday afternoon that the entire "golf world" recognizes his three Senior British Open victories.

Jack Nicklaus weighed in via Facebook, congratulating Langer on breaking his senior major championship record, but didn't delve into the controversy of Player's pronouncements.

"Congratulations Bern!" Nicklaus wrote. "What a great win! I have always said that records are made to be broken, and congratulations on your ninth senior major. Now that you have won nine, go win some more and make the record harder to beat."

Langer can make Player's argument a moot point if the 59-year-old German can win his third straight major of 2017, and 10th overall, at the U.S. Senior Open. That tournament begins June 29 at Salem Country Club in Peabody, Massachusetts, just north of Boston.