ELDER STATESMAN DIES
Lee Elder, the first black American golfer to play in a Masters tournament has died aged 87. Elder turned golfing pro in 1959, and won 4 PGA Tour titles in a forty year career. When he became a golfer, after leaving the army, the PGA blocked non-white golfers from joining. This was lifted in 1961 but with a money bar in place. Elder persevered to win his tour card by the end of the 1960s, and with his win at the Monsanto Open in 1974, began to open doors which had been barricaded shut a decade earlier. He followed his appearance at the Masters by becoming the first black player to play for the American Ryder Cup team. A long journey from his opening tournaments, when, as a PGA member, he still had to dress in the parking lot because the club owners wouldn’t allow him access to the changing rooms, or how in 1975 he needed two rental houses during the Masters for his own safety. Elder continued to rally against racism, and in 2021, was celebrated at the start of the Masters. He was a unique pick for In the Hole.
14 July 1934 – 28 November 2021