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Lee Elder
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Golfer
    (July 14, 1934-November 28, 2021)
    Born in Dallas, Texas
    Won four PGA tournaments
    First black golfer to qualify for the Masters Tournament (1975)
    First black golfer to compete in the Ryder Cup (1979)
    He dropped out of high school, having frequently cut classes to work as a caddy.
    He was a golf hustler in his teens.
    He protested the PGA allowing golfers to play at Sun City in South Africa (1986) even though he had earlier played in the South African PGA Championship (1971).
    He got a speeding ticket rushing to Augusta National to witness Tiger Woods becoming the first black golfer to win the Masters (1997).
    He was nine when his father was killed in battle during World War II and his mother died three months later.
    When he first played the Monsanto Open, he had to change clothes in the parking lot because African Americans were not allowed in the clubhouse (1968).
    He received so much hate mail before the 1975 Masters that, for safety, he rented two houses and kept moving between them during the tournament.
    He joined Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player for the ceremonial first tee shot at the 2021 Masters, which he called ‘one of the most emotional experiences I’ve ever been involved in.’

Credit: C. Fishel


 
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