Player invited Lee Elder to play in South Africa and was praised by Nelson Mandela but admits his past is not blameless
It has been almost 50 years since Lee Elder became the first black man to play in the Masters, and five months since Augusta National announced they were at last going to mark his achievement by inviting him to join Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player as one of the tournament’s honorary starters.
So long that when the moment finally came around early on Thursday morning, Elder, who is 86, wasn’t able to get up and swing a club. Instead he sat and watched as Player and Nicklaus did. It was a poignant moment, despite the way Player’s son (and caddie) Wayne, hovered over Elder’s shoulder cradling a branded box of golf balls, like a model on the shopping channel.