On Thursday (April 8), Lee Elder was honored by Augusta Nationwide chairman Fred Ridley amongst a cadre of patrons like Jack Nicklaus and Gary Participant on the primary tee on the Honorary Starters Ceremony at The Masters.
Elder, the primary Black man to play within the main golf match again in 1975, was designated as an honorary starter however did not take part in swinging a golf membership. He obtained a standing ovation from everybody in attendance, together with previous Masters champs Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson.
Throughout the 2020 Masters, Ridley introduced that Elder could be honored throughout this 12 months’s match, which kicked off on Thursday.
Elder performed in six Masters, and his highest end was seventeenth, however he did win 4 occasions on the PGA Tour profession and eight occasions on the PGA Tour Champions. Past trophies, although, Elder paved the best way for eventual Masters champs like Tiger Woods in breaking the colour barrier.
“Effectively, I actually wish to say thanks so very a lot for this nice alternative,” Elder mentioned in the course of the ceremony, based on CBS Sports. “For me and my household, I feel it was probably the most emotional experiences that I’ve ever witnessed or been concerned in. It’s actually one thing that I’ll cherish for the remainder of my life as a result of I’ve liked coming to Augusta Nationwide and enjoying right here the occasions that I’ve performed right here with a lot of my associates which are members right here, and on the request and invitation of Buzzy Johnson, who has additionally had me.”
He continued: “However to me, my coronary heart could be very comfortable this morning. Not heavy, comfortable, comfortable due to the great issues that I’ve encountered since arriving right here on Monday and having the ability to see among the nice associates that I’ve revamped the previous years, particularly like these two gents which are right here. We now have competed in opposition to one another, and we’ve got actually loved loads of nice moments. I simply wish to say thanks so very a lot to have me right here. It is an incredible honor, and I cherish it very a lot, and I’ll at all times cherish it, and I wish to thank the chairman for extending me this nice privilege.”