An illustration from "Charlie Takes His Shot, How Charlie Sifford Broke the Color Line in Golf".

Charlie Sifford: golf's first Black professional who paved the way for Tiger Woods

Updated 1229 GMT (2029 HKT) July 2, 2021

(CNN)When Charlie Sifford tried to play with the White golfers, he was told no.

When he politely asked again after participating in events solely for Black players, he was on the receiving end of racist abuse or even death threats.
But Sifford did not give up.
With the backing of California attorney general Stanley Mosk and with fellow trailblazer Jackie Robinson by his side, Sifford became the first Black player to play on the PGA Tour in 1959.
And if you visit the Tiger Woods exhibition at the National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., you'll see a photo of Sifford.
Tiger Woods with Sifford during a practice round of the World Golf Championship Bridgestone Invitational in 2009.
In breaking through the 'Caucasian only' clause in golf, Sifford helped open the door for other Black golfers, including the most famous Black golfer of all time, Woods.
And it's something Woods recognized, saying in 2015 following Sifford's death that he himself might not have been a professional golfer if it hadn't been for Sifford.
"He's like the Grandpa I never had," Woods said after a practice round in advance of the 2015 Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, the day after Sifford's death. "It's been a long night, and I'm sure it will be a long few days. He fought, and what he did, the courage for him to stick with it and be out here and play.