Honorary starters have been a tradition at the Masters since 1963, but Elder will be the first African-American to play this role at golf’s most prestigious event.
Elder’s first visit to this tee box came when he broke the color barrier at the 1975 Masters after years of fighting for his rights as a Black man to compete alongside the game’s elite.
By then, Nicklaus, Player and Arnold Palmer had long been considered the Big Three — defining for a generation the rivalries and popularity of the game. For several years until Palmer’s death in 2016, this trio of Masters champions served together as honorary starters at the tournament.
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