Lee Elder, the first Black man ever to play in the Masters, joined Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player as honorary starters Thursday morning at Augusta National Golf Club.
Special day. In 1975 Lee Elder broke the color barrier at The Masters, this morning he joins as an honorary starter. As Lee says, you gotta “stay the course” and we all gotta stay the course to continue what Lee started with expanding access to the sport. Congrats to this legend. pic.twitter.com/TqNDiB6DEH— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) April 8, 2021
Elder made his Augusta National debut at the Masters in 1975, earning an invitation with a victory in the 1974 Monsanto Open.
In 1975, Lee Elder became the first Black golfer to compete in the Masters.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 8, 2021
On Thursday, he'll be an honorary starter at Augusta National. pic.twitter.com/J8zhWgQVcC
While he failed to make the cut in his first Masters, Elder went on to compete in the major five more times and finished as high as 17th on the leaderboard.
Elder’s appearance Thursday morning at the iconic Augusta, Ga., course was a poignant, stirring and emotional moment.
“The opportunity to earn an invitation to the Masters and stand at that first tee was my dream, and to have it come true in 1975 remains one of the greatest highlights of my career and life,” Elder said last November when it was announced he would be an honorary starter at the 2021 Masters, via PGA.com. “So to be invited back to the first tee one more time to join Jack and Gary for next year’s Masters means the world to me."