Lee Elder, First Black Golfer to Play Masters, Dies at 87

Obit Lee Elder Golf

FILE – Lee Elder waves as he arrives for the ceremonial tee shots before the first round of the Masters golf tournament on Thursday, April 8, 2021, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Golf pioneer Lee Elder has died at the age of 87. Elder broke down racial barriers as the first Black golfer to play in the Masters and he paved the way for Tiger Woods and others to follow.

The PGA Tour confirmed Elder’s death, which was first reported by Debert Cook of African American Golfers Digest.

Elder made history in 1975 at Augusta National, which had held an all-white tournament until he received an invitation after winning the Monsanto Open.

Elder missed the cut but forever stamped himself as a groundbreaking figure in a sport never been known for racial tolerance.

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