X

FROM THE BLACK KNIGHT ARCHIVES: CHARLIE SIFFORD, FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN PRO ON PGA TOUR

1962 National Open Golf Championship with Charles Sifford

Sifford and Player at the 1962 U.S. Open.

Throughout Gary Player’s long career, he has had the opportunity to meet and play alongside other leading figures in the game of golf. One of those such figures was Charlie Sifford. Sifford was the first African-American to play on the PGA Tour. Sifford and Player played together in many events, including the 1962 U.S. Open.

Charlie Sifford began golfing professionally in 1948, competing in golf tournaments organized by black golfers for themselves before the PGA TOUR was open to them. Sifford won the United Golf Association’s National Negro Open six times.

gary-player-charlie-sifford

Player and Sifford, circa 1980s.

Sifford joined the PGA TOUR in 1961. His career highlights include winning the 1967 Greater Hartford Open and the 1969 Los Angeles Open. He also won the 1963 Puerto Rico Open and the 1975 PGA Seniors’ Championship.

 

Charlie Sifford has been referred to as the Jackie Robinson of golf and players today, including Tiger Woods, feel he paved the way for them to play professional golf. Several accolades have been given to Sifford over the years. In 2004 he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame and asked his friend Gary Player to present him at the induction ceremony. Player was honored to do so. Sifford was also awarded the Old Tom Morris Award in 2007 and given the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014 by President Barack Obama.

 

Charlie Sifford

Player and Sifford at the World Golf Hall of Fame

Sifford passed away in February 2015 at the age of 92. His achievements for the game of golf and greater society will go down in history and his legacy continues in many ways. The Los Angeles Open continues to offer the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption to a player each year who represents the advancement of diversity in golf. As for Gary Player, he remembers his friend fondly as “an inspiration, a super golfer, and a tremendous ambassador for the game of golf.”

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

↓
X
NEWS & SOCIAL

NEWS

TWITTER

Bob Baffert looks to secure a 4️⃣th @DubaiWorldCup win with 2017 #BreedersCup Classic runners West Coast & Mubtaahi… https://t.co/q37t34tGae

Turf. Dirt. No big deal for Champ, Mendelssohn. 🏆🌹👌 #BreedersCup #Dubai #KYDerby https://t.co/k1cRPl50qY

Today in 1985, Calvin Peete captured @THEPLAYERSChamp with a sterling final-round 66. Peete led the @PGATOUR in dri… https://t.co/LficQXfXg8

Prepare to watch the future of golf – 80 boys and girls will take the stage at Augusta National Golf Club on Sunday… https://t.co/N92kieHFof

FACEBOOK

Happy birthday Viv. I’ll never forget the kiss from my sweetheart after my first Masters Tournament victory. And I still kiss my bride like the first time every day – even after 61 years of marriage. Love you forever and always. Gabs ... See MoreSee Less

Many congratulations Bubba Watson on your Dell Technologies Match Play victory. You are so good for our game. Fine form you are in heading into Augusta. My very best. GP ... See MoreSee Less

Congratulations on your first PGA TOUR win Brice Garnett. What an impressive feat going wire to wire. Love how you recognized the importance of your wife to your success in golf. Same for me. Best. GP ... See MoreSee Less

Many congratulations Eun-Hee Ji on your LPGA #KiaClassic victory. Not to mention also wining a car with your ace! Super. Outstanding! My very best. GP ... See MoreSee Less

INSTAGRAM

EVENTS