Video: Steph Curry Congratulates Lee Elder for Being Honorary Starter at 2021 MastersApril 8, 2021
Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry on Thursday thanked Lee Elder, who became the first Black man to play in the Masters in 1975, for his inspiration and congratulated him on being selected as an honorary starter for this year's Masters.
Curry posted a video via Twitter, which also featured a golf shot dedicated to Elder:
Stephen Curry @StephenCurry30
Special day. In 1975 Lee Elder broke the color barrier at The Masters, this morning he joins as an honorary starter. As Lee says, you gotta “stay the course” and we all gotta stay the course to continue what Lee started with expanding access to the sport. Congrats to this legend. pic.twitter.com/TqNDiB6DEH
Elder joined Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus on the tee at Augusta National Golf Club to help kick off this year's quest for the green jacket:
The Texan, who's now 86, earned an invitation to the 1975 Masters with his victory in the 1974 Monsanto Open. It was one of four victories he achieved on the PGA Tour, and he went on to win eight more tournaments on the Senior PGA Tour.
Elder missed the cut in his first appearance at the Masters, but he finished as high as tied for 17th in his five subsequent trips to Augusta.
He also helped the United States defeat Europe in the 1979 Ryder Cup, and he received the 2019 Bob Jones Award for a lifetime of sportsmanship in golf.
“I wouldn't say the country did not welcome me because I feel that the things that I have achieved, like on the United States Ryder Cup team, I tell you: That was one of the greatest experiences that I've ever had,” Elder told Michael Rosenberg of Sports Illustrated ahead of this year's Masters.
And when the opportunity to become an honorary starter was offered by Augusta chairman Fred Ridley, Elder revealed he jumped at the opportunity: "I said, 'Mr. Chairman, I have time for you anytime, sir.'"
Curry's comments show the golfer's impact extended well beyond the course.