CAPTION CORRECTS THE DATE OF DEATH FILE - In this Thursday, April 29, 1999, file photo, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, right, and South African President Nelson Mandela, greet each other during a welcoming ceremony at the Kremlin, Russia. Mandela passed away Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, after a long illness. He was 95. As word of Mandela's death spread, current and former presidents, athletes and entertainers, and people around the world spoke about the life and legacy of the former South African leader. (AP Photo/Mikhail Japaridze, file) (The Associated Press)
This file photo from 1994 shows Nelson Mandela dancing with Coretta Scott King after hew was elected as South Africa's first black president during a African National Congress victory party held in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Jerry Holt, File) (The Associated Press)
SUN CITY, South Africa – Gary Player says the first time he met Nelson Mandela, he got on his knees and kissed the former political prisoner's feet.
Remembering his "very tearful" first encounter with Mandela, Player paused Friday to compose himself and hold back tears.
Mandela, a former South African president and Nobel laureate, died Thursday at 95.
Player, a nine-time major winner who is one of South Africa's greatest sportsman, says he told Mandela at their meeting following his release from prison "I have never kissed anybody's feet in my life ... (but) I have so much admiration for you."
Player also says he'll also never forget Mandela greeting him once with the words: "Good morning, Gary. Do you remember me?"