Who's who: Lee Elder

  • Photo of Lee Elder
  • usa.png
  • Photo of Lee Elder
  • usa.png

Who's who: Lee Elder

  • Name:

    Robert Lee Elder
  • Country:

    USA
  • Born:

    July 14, 1934 in Dallas, Texas.
  • Original/Home Club:

  • Occupation:

    Professional golfer; philanthropist.
  • Turned Pro:

    1959

Roll of Honour

Ryder Cup player (1979). Total professional wins (16), including PGA Tour wins (4) and Senior PGA Tour wins (8).

Did you know?

In 1975, Elder became the first African American to play in the Masters Tournament, and four years later the first to play in the Ryder Cup. During his playing career he was subjected to numerous acts of racist behaviour, even though his father had made the ultimate sacrifice for his country during World War II. His mother died a few months after his father, leaving nine-year-old Elder an improverished orphan. It is a testament to Elder's character that he overcame such traumatic difficulties in his early life, and went on to become a successful PGA Tour and Senior PGA Tour player.

Top tournaments won by Lee Elder

1988
America
202 (-11)
$45,000
Gus Machado

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Elder, Lee

Score

202 (-11)

Prize money

$45,000

Title sponsor

Gus Machado

Played as the Gus Machado Senior Classic. Second-placed Al Geiberger (USA) finished 5 shots behind Elder (USA), who recorded the last of his eight US Snr Tr wins. [Crandon Golf at Key Biscayne, nr Miami, FL; at the time known as the Links at Key Biscayne].

1986
America
199 (-11)
$37,500
Merrill Lynch/Golf Digest

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Elder, Lee

Score

199 (-11)

Prize money

$37,500

Title sponsor

Merrill Lynch/Golf Digest

Played as the Merrill Lynch/Golf Digest Commemorative. Second-placed Chi Chi Rodriguez (PR/USA) finished 2 shots behind defending champion Elder (USA). [Sleepy Hollow CC, Scarborough, New York].

1986
Asia
Oak Hills CC, Jpn
273 (-15)
US$50,000
Coca-Cola

Category

Asia

Winner (holder)

Elder, Lee

Venue

Oak Hills CC, Jpn

Score

273 (-15)

Prize money

US$50,000

Title sponsor

Coca-Cola

Played as the Coca-Cola Seniors Grand Slam (May 23-25). Second-placed and defending champion Miller Barber (USA) finished 6 shots behind wire-to-wire winner Elder (USA). [Oak Hills CC, nr Katori, Chiba, Japan].

1985
America
213 (-3)
$30,000
Denver Post

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Elder, Lee

Score

213 (-3)

Prize money

$30,000

Title sponsor

Denver Post

Played as the Denver Post Champions of Golf. Second-placed Peter Thomson (Aus) finished 1 shot behind Elder (USA). [Plum Creek GC, Castle Rock, Colorado; at the time known as TPC Plum Creek].

1985
America
135 (-7)
$30,000
Citizens Union

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Elder, Lee

Score

135 (-7)

Prize money

$30,000

Title sponsor

Citizens Union

Played as the Citizens Union Senior Classic. Elder (USA) beat Dan Sikes (USA) and Walt Zembriski (USA) with a birdie at the third playoff hole; Orville Moody (USA) was eliminated at the second playoff hole. [Griffin Gate Resort, Lexington, Kentucky].

1985
America
133 (-11)
$27,000
Merrill Lynch/Golf Digest

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Elder, Lee

Score

133 (-11)

Prize money

$27,000

Title sponsor

Merrill Lynch/Golf Digest

Played as the Merrill Lynch/Golf Digest Commemorative Pro-Am. Elder (USA) beat Peter Thomson (Aus) with an eagle at the first playoff hole. [Newport CC, Newport, Rhode Island].

1985
America
208 (-8)
$30,000
Digital

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Elder, Lee

Score

208 (-8)

Prize money

$30,000

Title sponsor

Digital

Played as the Digital Seniors Classic. Elder (USA) beat Jerry Barber (USA) and Don January (USA) with a birdie at the first playoff hole. [Nashawtuc CC, Concord, Massachusetts].

1984
Asia
281 (-7)
US$48,980
Coca-Cola

Category

Asia

Winner (holder)

Elder, Lee

Score

281 (-7)

Prize money

US$48,980

Title sponsor

Coca-Cola

Played as the Coca-Cola Seniors Grand Slam (Sept 28-30). Second-placed Miller Barber (USA) finished 7 shots behind Elder (USA), who recorded his first win as a senior golfer. [Yokohama CC, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan].

1984
America
Shipyard GC
203 (-13)
$30,000
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Elder, Lee

Venue

Shipyard GC

Score

203 (-13)

Prize money

$30,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Hilton Head Seniors International (Oct 19-21). Second-placed Peter Thomson (Aus) finished 3 shots behind Elder (USA). [Shipyard GC, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina].

1984
America
Suntree CC, FL
200 (-16)
$22,500
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Elder, Lee

Venue

Suntree CC, FL

Score

200 (-16)

Prize money

$22,500

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Suntree Senior Classic. Second-placed Miller Barber (USA) and Gay Brewer (USA) finished 6 shots behind first-time US Snr Tr winner Elder (USA). [Suntree CC, Melbourne, Florida].

1978
America
274 (-10)
$60,000
American Express

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Elder, Lee

Score

274 (-10)

Prize money

$60,000

Title sponsor

American Express

Played as the American Express Westchester Classic (Aug 17-20). Second-placed Mark Hayes (USA) finished 1 shot behind Elder (USA), who recorded the last of his four PGA Tour wins. [West course, Westchester CC, Rye, NY].

1978
America
Tuckaway CC
275 (-13)
$30,000
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Elder, Lee

Venue

Tuckaway CC

Score

275 (-13)

Prize money

$30,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Greater Milwaukee Open (July 6-9). Lee Elder (USA) beat Lee Trevino (USA) with a par at the eighth hole of a sudden-death playoff. [Tuckaway CC, Franklin, nr Milwaukee, Wisc.].

1976
America
278 (-10)
$40,000
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Elder, Lee

Score

278 (-10)

Prize money

$40,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Houston Open (Apr 29-May 2). Second-placed Forrest Fezler (USA) finished 1 shot behind Lee Elder (USA), who claimed his second PGA Tour title. [The Woodlands CC, nr Houston, TX. Course used was based on the current back-nine of the Tournament course and part of the neighbouring Panther Trail course].

1974
America
Pensacola CC
274 (-10)
$30,000
Monsanto

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Elder, Lee

Venue

Pensacola CC

Score

274 (-10)

Prize money

$30,000

Title sponsor

Monsanto

Played as the Monsanto Open (Apr 18-21). Elder (USA) beat Peter Oosterhuis (Eng) with a birdie at the fourth playoff hole, to record the first of his four PGA Tour wins. [Pensacola CC, Pensacola, FL].

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