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Lee Elder, first Black golfer to play the Masters, dies at 87


Lee Elder, the first Black golfer to ever play at the Masters, has died at the age of 87.

The PGA Tour confirmed Elder’s passing Monday morning.

“Lee Elder has passed away at the age of 87. In 1975, he made history as the first African American to compete in the Masters Tournament. Lee was honored this past April at Augusta National and his legacy will surely live on,” the tour wrote.

Elder became the first African-American to ever play in the Masters when he competed in the 1975 tournament at the age of 40. He missed the cut by four strokes but would play in five more Masters. Elder finished his career with four PGA Tour wins.

Earlier this year, Elder was honored with the ceremonial tee shot for the 2021 Masters Tournament with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. Augusta National also helped fund the men’s golf team and create a women’s golf program at Paine College in Elder’s honor. Two Lee Elder scholarships will go to a player on each team.


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