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Honorary Starter Lee Elder of the United States (L), waves to the crowd as he is recognized and honorary starter and Masters champion Gary Player of South Africa and honorary starter and Masters champion Jack Nicklaus look on from the first tee during the opening ceremony prior to the start of the first round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 08, 2021 in Augusta, Georgia.

Professional golfer, Lee Elder, passed away Sunday morning (Nov. 28, 2021) at the age of 87.

Elder was the first Black golfer to play at the Masters here in Augusta. While there were other African American golfers before him, Elder made history in 1975 after winning the Monsanto Open and going on to compete in the Masters Tournament.

Even prior to qualifying, Elder said several lawmakers had written to the Masters chairman on his behalf, hoping for a special invitation.  Elder appreciated their efforts but felt it wasn’t the right way to go about getting that coveted invitation.

Throughout his career, he would go on to return to the Masters five times.  In 1979, he would tie for 11th place, matching his best career finish.

Following his debut at the Masters, Elder humbly said, “I don’t want to go down in history just for this. I want to be remembered, if I’m remembered at all, because I was a good golfer.”

And he definitely will be remembered.

Source: NPR

We had the honor of him being in Augusta again earlier this year for the Masters in April.  He and Jack Nicklaus were a part of the opening ceremony.

Jack shared his thoughts on Twitter after the news broke:

 

Here are a few photos of Lee Elder at the 2021 Masters Opening Ceremony: