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Black golfer Elder is honorary starter

Agence France-Presse



LEE Elder / Ethan Miller/Agence France-Presse

AUGUSTA (AFP) — Lee Elder, the first Black golfer to play in the Masters, will make more history Thursday with a ceremonial first tee shot at Augusta National to help launch the 85th edition.

Augusta National will pay tribute to Elder’s legacy when the barrier-breaker joins Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player as an honorary starter before a field of 88 begins chasing the green jacket symbolic of Masters supremacy.

“The courage and commitment of Lee Elder and other trailblazers like him inspired men and women of color to pursue their rightful opportunity to compete and follow their dreams,” Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley said in announcing the honor last year.

Once the ceremony is complete, it will be unheralded American Michael Thompson, ranked 105th, who hits the first competitive tee shot of the year’s first major championship.