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Lee Elder, the legendary American golfer who was the first African American to compete at The Masters, has died at the age of 87.
A statement from the PGA Tour read: “Lee Elder has passed away at the age of 87. In 1975, he made history as the first African American to compete in the Masters Tournament.
“Lee was honored this past April at Augusta National and his legacy will surely live on.”
Elder’s friend Renee Powell confirmed his passing in a Facebook post, writing: “Overnight, I was very saddened to hear of the death of my good friend Lee Elder. Lee had called me last week about doing a project together this summer.
“We actually joined our perspective Tours together after both winning the United Golfers Association (UGA) National in the same year.
“For those who don’t know, the UGA was an amateur body of African-American golfers that included divisions for women, men, junior boys and girls, and a professional division.
“They operated a series of tournaments during the era of racial segregation in the U.S.As the years went by, Lee and I were partners in the JC Penney Team Championship at Doral.
Lee Elder has passed away at the age of 87.
In 1975, he made history as the first African American to compete in the Masters Tournament.
Lee was honored this past April at Augusta National and his legacy will surely live on. pic.twitter.com/1o05rephKt
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) November 29, 2021
“This year, I was proudly standing next to the first tee at Augusta National when Lee was given Honorary Starter status alongside Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player to open the Masters.
“Thank goodness, Lee was finally recognised there! Please keep his wife, Sharon, in your prayers.”