Lee Elder has died at age 87. He was a professional golfer and broadcaster. The original Golf Channel personality was considered one of the greatest in the history of the sport, in addition to being a prolific author.
“Lee Elder will be remembered as a significant player and an influential leader in our sport,” said Jack Nicklaus, who is among many from the sport expressing their sorrow. “There are a lot of guys, I know, who played against him and got to know him. He was respected by everyone.”
Elder earned his Masters bid during the 1964 season, and was joined in the field by NBA Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson. Elder shot a 12-over-par 152, and Robertson earned his opportunity.
“It is unfortunate that he didn’t play better in the Masters, but I think his place in golf will last forever,” said The Masters Tournament Director, Danny Parker. “You can never please everybody, but I think he was very well-liked. He was a fine gentleman. He loved golf, but he was just one of those guys who was not one of the loud and obnoxious type of people.”
Elder was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1987. He won 10 career LPGA Tour titles and held the record for the lowest adjusted scoring average for the 10 full-time women’s tour members.
The official cause of death is not known. Elder had been living in retirement in Palm Springs, California.