Masters 2020: Lee Elder to be Honorary Starter in 2021 as new scholarship launched

Published: Nov. 9, 2020 at 12:15 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The first African American to compete in the Masters is getting a pair of honors, the Augusta National Golf Club announced Monday.

Lee Elder, who first competed in the Masters 45 years ago will be an Honorary Starter for the 2021 tournament.

On top of that, Elder will be honored with a scholarship in his name at Paine College, the historically black college and university in Augusta. Two scholarships bearing Elder’s name will be awarded yearly -- one to a male golfer and another to a female golfer at the school.

Lee Elder Announcement

Lee Elder, the first Black man to compete in the Masters Tournament 45 years ago, is being honored by Augusta National. Read more:

Posted by Masters Tournament on Monday, November 9, 2020

It doesn’t stop there, though, as the ANGC is also funding the start of a women’s golf program at Paine.

“We would like to thank our friends at Paine College, especially President Dr. Cheryl Evans Jones, who immediately embraced the idea of honoring Lee Elder together,” Chairman Fred Ridley said in a statement. “Through this partnership, we look forward to further cultivating our relationship with Paine College, helping the school create its first women’s golf program and celebrating Lee Elder’s distinguished legacy through these scholarships.”

“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. “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.”

The news quickly made it to 2019 Masters champion Tiger Woods.

“We all belong,” Woods said in a tweet. “Such wonderful news to hear from Augusta National in celebration of Lee Elder.”

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