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Masters Honorary Starters: A Rare Honor

The tradition began in 1963 with Jock Hutchison and Fred McLeod, a pair of major championship winners. By the 1980s, the rite of spring had evolved with the trio of Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead and Byron Nelson hitting opening tee shots. Former CBS analyst Ken Venturi filled in one year. Fred Ridley, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, addressed media on Monday morning to announce that Lee Elder, the first Black man to compete in the Masters Tournament when he teed it up in 1975, will join Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player on the first tee of the 2021 Masters as an honorary starter.