Augusta, Georgia – Masters updates (always local):
The 85th Masters began with two honorary tee shots and one ex-player. They only raised the driver to make it memorable.
Lee Elder was invited to start the ceremony. The 86-year-old was the first black golfer to play in the Masters in 1975. Augusta National announced in November that it would join six-time Masters champion Jack Nicklaus and three-time champion Gary Player.
The elder’s health will not allow him to swing. Instead, they raised their drivers on a cool morning warmed by big applause from the spectators on either side of the teabox.
Masters President Fred Ridley said in a message that golf belongs to everyone, the Elders paved the way for golf and future generations.
Among the tees were Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson in green jackets as past champions, and Cameron Champ, one of the four players on the PGA Tour’s Black Heritage.
The tournament started a little later. Defending champion Dustin Johnson tees off at 10:30 am and Jordan Spieth is in the last group.
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Elders raise drivers with an honorary start at the Masters
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