On April 10, 1975, 41-year-old Lee Elder becomes the first Black golfer to play in the Masters, considered the most prestigious event in the sport. Elder shoots 37 on the front and back nine for a 74 at the Augusta (Georgia) National Golf Club and trails leader Bobby Nichols by seven strokes. “I didn’t have any nervousness whatsoever,” Elder says after the round.
In Round 2, Elder shot a 78 and missed the cut in the tournament, won by Jack Nicklaus. Elder had qualified for the Masters by winning the 1974 Monsanto Open.
Many considered Elder’s historic achievement long overdue for the Masters and Augusta National and for a sport that had never been known for racial tolerance. The Professional Golfers Association, the organizer of the main professional tours played by men in North America, didn’t approve participation of African Americans in events it co-sponsored until 1952.
Augusta National didn’t have a Black member until 1990 (businessman Ron Townsend) or female member until 2012 (former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice).
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Article TitleLee Elder becomes first Black golfer to play in MastersAuthorHistory.com EditorsWebsite NameHISTORY
DateApril 9, 2023PublisherA&E Television NetworksLast UpdatedDecember 14, 2021Original Published DateDecember 14, 2021
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