Lee Elder, Leonard Shapiro, United Golf Association discussed on WTOP 24 Hour News


Resident Lee elder has died Elder made history in 1975 by becoming the first black golfer to play at the masters paving the way for Tiger Woods and others to follow in his footsteps The elder was 87 joining us now to talk about his life and career Washington Post contributor Leonard Shapiro who has written a really fine open on le elder If you really want to know about all of his accomplishments it's a great piece in the post Len thanks for joining us We appreciate it Thank you so much You know the headline is Lee elder became the first black golfer to play in the night in the masters tournament but he was so much more than that wasn't he Oh absolutely He was a wonderful wonderful player Because of the PGA Tour's rules against black players playing in the tour on the tour until 1961 he had to play on something called the UGA The united golf association which was a string of tournaments for black offers one of the stops was at Langston in Washington D.C. not far from RFK stadium and he won a lot of tournaments on that tour I think one year he won 8 out of the 12 events they held Wonderful player He was a hustler as a kid but he was a pioneer in every way And elder shared many stories of facing racism as a pro golfer What are some of those stories Well when he played in the masters he was getting before he went to the masters he was getting death threats even when he played on the PGA Tour when he finally won his card He was being taunted from the gallery people are calling him names I don't have to repeat them on the air But you can figure it out They gave him a very hard time When he went to Augusta national to play in the first masters there were plenty of death threats so much so that the rented two houses there and used a fake name on the one he was staying at just to keep people from finding out where he was staying As it turned out he played did not make the cut He didn't play very well It was nervous as you might imagine But he eventually played in a total of 6 masters once finished 17th his best finish and he was a great player Jackie Robinson famously had to hold back when he faced all of these kinds of things the death threats and the taunts and everything What about Lee elder How did he handle that situation And later how did he reflect on that Was he philosophical Was he bitter How did he handle it later after his career was over Well I can tell you he was never to me never express express bitterness but the interesting thing is that he and Jackie Robinson actually got to know each other and played some golf together and we're Friends And I think Lee never struck back I hate to say turn the other cheek but he was that's the kind of guy who was he was a modest guy He was he did not strike back at anybody He was one of those guys who allowed his golf clubs to do was talking for them for him and he was a credit to the game He was just an absolute joy to be around at all times And he was he was happy with his place in the game but he did not ever want to be known as the just as the first black offer to play in the masters He said once I want to be known as a good golfer and well guess what He was and he was a great golfer All right Leonard thanks so much for your time this afternoon My pleasure Thanks for having me Washington Post contributor Leonard Shapiro Let's find out what happened today on Wall Street Let's go to Jeff clay bar By the closing bell that I was up to a 137 points the NASDAQ gained almost 2% Bunny news in ten minutes on the WT Sports at 15 and 45 brought to you by your local Honda dealer Don't settle for less than a Honda Well Dave Preston Max Scherzer will not be playing in LA again next year but Nats fans might wish he was Oh max is coming back east but not on the way that the Nats fans would like The former nationals pitcher agrees to a three year contract with the New York mets worth $130 billion max one a pair of saw youngs in Washington he also started game 7 of the 2019 World Series NFL Washington takes on Seattle this evening Taylor heideck keep more than just an understudy making his tenth start of the season I don't think about it all Again I come in here day to day I'm trying to get better So I feel like if I do that things will work out for itself And we'll go from there but again I'm just focused on winning games right now Seahawks rank last in the league at stopping the pass a 15 kick off at FedEx field Dallas is dealing with the two game losing streak and now head coach Mike McCarthy enters the league's COVID protocol he will miss Thursday's game with New Orleans and NBA wizards.

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