Pioneer Lee Elder Will Be Back Where He Belongs

Lee Elder during the 1975 Masters Augusta National, Getty Images

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA | On that unforgettable Sunday 23 Aprils ago, Lee Elder stood under the giant live oak behind the Augusta National clubhouse and watched as Tiger Woods prepared to finish a Masters victory that felt like it was changing the world.

Clustered among a couple hundred people including a number of club employees who had come out to watch Woods tee off, Elder understood more than most what the moment meant. At times, people were watching Elder watch Woods.

In 1975, Elder stood on that first tee with the world watching him as he became the first African-American to play in the Masters. It was a moment as significant in its way as Woods’ monumental victory in 1997.


Next April, the people will be watching Elder again as he joins Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player as an honorary starter at the 2021 Masters.

Club chairman Fred Ridley made the announcement Monday as the first November Masters week beg…

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