Truth & Rumors: Charlie Sifford says ‘[Bleep] Augusta’
Charlie Sifford, who became the PGA’s first African-American player in 1961, never played in the Masters, which didn’t have an African American compete until Lee Elder in 1975. At age 89, he wouldn’t accept a ceremonial invitation now, according to an interview with Bill Plaschke of The Los Angeles Times.
History heals. And then, suddenly, history bleeds.Sifford also tells Plaschke that the "Jackie Robinson of Golf” title isn’t accurate because “Jackie Robinson had a team behind him, and I had to do it alone.”
You ask him about golf's most fabled course, it's most revered tournament, which happens to be the one hurdle he could not leap, the one line he never crossed, and suddenly Charlie Sifford is fighting again.
"[Bleep] Augusta," he says. "When I was good enough to play there, the Masters never invited me, so why would they invite me now?"
He shakes his head and from somewhere deep, the bitterness rises.
"I could have been invited, I should have been invited, but a long time ago they thought all golfers should be white and all caddies should be black," he says. "I've never been to Augusta and I'm never going."
Once, while pulling a pin, he realized that the cup had been filled with feces. Several times spectators kicked his ball through the rough. Other times he would find his ball buried under trash.Sifford was inducted into the Southern California Golf Association Hall of Fame on Tuesday. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2004. PGA Tour says decision to add HSBC to Player of Year was oversight, not slight Luke Donald called the PGA Tour’s decision to include next week’s HSBC Shanghai tournament in its Player of the Year deliberations "sketchy at best” in an interview with Golf Channel on Monday, but Joel Schuchmann, the PGA Tour’s director of communications, said that the move was an innocent oversight in a series of tweets on Thursday morning. Schuchmann added:
"Nothing bothered me, nothing stopped me," Sifford says. "I wasn't just trying to do this for me, I was trying to do it for the world."
The players vote on the award, but the decision to include HSBC was the PGA Tour’s, according to Schuchmann. Yes, the players involved have nothing to do with the decision to include HSBC, that was our oversight. HSBC was included last year as it was played the week prior to Disney event.Jack Nicklaus says Tour players join Bear’s Club for course, not owner PGA Tour players have been moving to West Palm Beach in droves -- even Rory McIlroy is house-shopping there -- and Jack Nicklaus says that many players in the area, like Luke Donald, join his Bear’s Club to practice, according to The Palm Beach Post.
"A lot of them play at our Bear's Club. It's easy for them to get a game together or just work on something they want to work on. They can go out pretty much whenever they want to. It's a great place to practice. With me? They mostly say, 'Who's that?'"Tweet of the Day