Letter from Tiger Woods

Here is a letter from Tiger Woods, which was read during today’s ceremony honoring Charlie Sifford at the Northern Trust Open. An exemption in Sifford’s name was created to give an opportunity for a golfer who displays character and the advancement of diversity in golf. Vincent Johnson, who received the first exemption, was on hand for the ceremony, which just concluded. Here’s the letter:

Dated Feb. 18

Tonight, I am privileged to recognize a man who has truly been an inspiration to me and the entire world of golf, Charlie Sifford.

Charlie’s courage, resolve and determination changed our game forever. Pioneers like him, Teddy Rhodes, Joe Louis, Pete Brown, Lee Elder and many others paved the way for future generations of minority players. If it wasn’t for them, it’s likely my dad wouldn’t have played golf or taught his son this remarkable sport.

Today, men of all races choose where to play, but it wasn’t always like that. Charlie, and his peers, had to endure unimaginable hardships so that we can compete today.

Thank you, Charlie!

It is with the utmost respect that I honor Charlie Sifford, a man I’m proud to call my friend.

Tiger Woods

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About Jill Painter

Jill Painter is a sports columnist for the Los Angeles News Group, covering everything from the Dodgers, Lakers, Clippers, USC, UCLA, Kings, golf and all human interest stories in sports.