On Monday, the sport of golf lost the legendary Lee Elder.
Elder, the first black man to compete in the Masters, passed away at the age of 87. He was a four-time PGA Tour winner and one of golf’s true pioneers. Elder finished his career with seven top-25 finishes across his 34 major championships.
A legend. A gentleman. A trailblazer.
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) November 29, 2021
The golfing world collectively mourned Elder’s passing across social media.
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
“His legacy will surely live on,” the PGA Tour said.
The Ryder Cup also paid tribute to the landmark figure. Calling Elder, “a true trailblazer and gentleman.” Saying, “We honor Lee’s memory and the lasting impact he made on the game.”
Today we are saddened by the loss of our teammate and friend, Mr. Lee Elder.
A true trailblazer and gentleman, we honor Lee's memory and the lasting impact he made on the game. pic.twitter.com/ylHnI6W7jo
— Ryder Cup USA (@RyderCupUSA) November 29, 2021
Jason Sobel, a golf writer at the Action Network, shared an excerpt of Elder’s description of his breakthrough participation in the 1975 Masters.
Earlier this year, after serving as an honorary starter at the Masters for the first time, Lee Elder spoke so eloquently about becoming the initial African-American to compete in the tournament back in 1975.
RIP Mr. Elder. pic.twitter.com/ybF2GiLWrn
— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelTAN) November 29, 2021
Carmichael Dave also shared some kind words regarding Elder’s passing.
I don’t know that I’ve ever been more in awe during a conversation than when I met Lee Elder.
The man truly was the epitome of a living legend, and he acted like a random guy you saw in the grocery aisle.
Friendly, humble, but an unmistakable gravitas about him. Amazing man. pic.twitter.com/wZDLSjQKkN
— Carmichael Dave (@CarmichaelDave) November 29, 2021
“I don’t know that I’ve ever been more in awe during a conversation than when I met Lee Elder,” Dave wrote. “The man truly was the epitome of a living legend, and he acted like a random guy you saw in the grocery aisle.”
Concluding, “Friendly, humble, but an unmistakable gravitas about him. Amazing man.”
The golf world, and sports world as a whole, will surely miss Lee Elder’s presence. A sincere thank you to a man who helped lay the foundation for so many to come after him.