Elder, Lee

Elder, Lee, 1934-2021, American professional golfer, b. Dallas, Tx., as Robert Lee Elder. Elder broke many racial barriers in professional golf as the first Black golfer to play in the Masters in 1975. After caddying at all-white country clubs in Dallas and Los Angeles, Elder toured with the United Golfers Association, the only professional organization open to Black golfers at the time, beginning in 1961, eventually winning 18 out of 22 consecutive tournaments. He first played on the PGA tour in 1968, and then played in South Africa's Open and PGA championships in 1971, the first time this tournament was integrated. In 1979, he was a member of the champion U.S. Ryder Cup team. Through his career, he played at the Masters a total of six times. He joined the PGA Senior Tour in 1984, winning eight times. Among his awards and honors was the United States Golf Association's Bob Jones Award (2019). He was also the first Black golfer to be invited to be an honorary starter at the Masters (2021). In 1974, he established with his then-wife the Lee Elder Scholarship Fund to aid low-income students to attend college.

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