The PGA Tour made the sad announcement that Lee Elder, who paved the way for other golfers as the first Black man to play in the Masters, has passed away. For fans of golf, Lee Elder is a name you know, a man who broke down barriers in a sport that hasn't been historically known for diversity. The news was first reported by Debert Cook of African American Golfers Digest and the PGA Tour said that they confirmed Elder's death with his family. He was 87 years old and no cause of death was released as of this time.

Lee Elder, a native Texan, began as a caddy which during segregated times was the only way a Black person was allowed on a golf course, per AP News. Elder began working on his golf game while caddying and continued working on his game while serving in the US Army. After being discharged he joined the United Golf Association Tour for Black players and got his first PGA Tour card in 1968. Elder won the Monsanto Open and the next year was invited to compete in the Masters. The PGA had a Caucasian-only rule until 1961.

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Fred Ridley, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters, released a statement discussing what a lasting impact Elder had on so much more than just golf:

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Lee Elder. Lee was an inspiration to so many young men and women of color not only through his play, but also through his commitment to education and community. Lee will always be a part of the history of the Masters Tournament. His presence will be sorely missed, but his legacy will continue to be celebrated.”

You can learn more about Lee Elder tomorrow on the show when Buzz will go into his lasting legacy and the impact that Lee Elder had on the game of golf.

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