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Hall of fame golfer Sifford is dead

Published:Wednesday | February 4, 2015 | 3:56 PM

Hall-of-Fame golfer Charlie Sifford has passed away at the age of 92.

Sifford, who was the first black player on the PGA Tour, died on Tuesday night at his home in the United States.

He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November.

He died after suffering a stroke three weeks ago.

Born in Charlotte, Sifford began working as a caddy at the age of 13.

He later competed in tournaments organised by black golfers because they were excluded from PGA events.

Using an exemption obtained by heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis, Sifford tried to qualify for a PGA Tour event at the 1952 Phoenix Open.

There he was subjected to racial threats and abuse.

That treatment continued through his first PGA-sponsored win at the 1957 Long Beach Open, which was not officially on the PGA Tour.

Sifford, known for playing while smoking a cigar, was finally allowed membership into the PGA in 1961 to become the first African-American player on Tour.


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