Honorary Starters Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player were joined by Lee Elder, the first black man to play in The Masters, on Thursday morning

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The 2021 Masters Begins! Lee Elder Joins Honorary Starters

The 2021 Masters has officially begun after the ceremonial tee shots from Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus, with new Honorary Starter Lee Elder joining the two icons.

Elder was the first black man to play in The Masters, when he qualified for the tournament in 1975.

The 86-year-old, from Dallas, Texas, did not hit a drive on Thursday morning at Augusta National but was honoured and given a very warm reception from the patrons on-site.

Related: The Masters Golf Betting Tips 2021

A number of past champions and 2021 competitors were also there on the 1st tee to see the ceremony.

Elder was also joined by a number of black PGA Professionals who were there to show their support.

Watch: 2021 Masters Honorary Starters get tournament underway –

Upon announcing Elder as an Honorary Starter at the 2020 Masters, Augusta National announced the creation of the Lee Elder Scholarships at Paine College, a Historically Black College and University located in Augusta.

Two scholarships will be awarded annually, one each to a student athlete who competes on the men’s and women’s golf team.

As part of this effort, Augusta National also will fund the creation of a women’s golf program at Paine.

Related: Masters TV Coverage 2021

World No.1 Dustin Johnson defends the Masters title this year after winning the Green Jacket in November.

Dustin is joined as one of the favourites alongside Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau.

Rory McIlroy once again bids to complete the career grand slam after recording six top-10 finishes in the tournament previously.

The course is playing firm and fast for the tournament albeit there could be some bad weather on the way to soften things up.

Related: The Masters Tee Times: Rounds One and Two