COLUMBUS (WCMH) – As Tiger Woods captivates crowds at the Masters, it’s easy to forget that it was less than 50 years ago that a Black player had never played in the tournament. That is, until Lee Elder became the first. And now, his legacy is living on through a local high school golfer. 

In 1975, Elder made history as the first Black man to play at the Masters tournament. Now, 47 years later, Olentangy Liberty senior Taya Buxton is making history of her own, becoming the first female to earn the Lee Elder scholarship. 

“I’m really honored and what Lee Elder did was just amazing,” said Taya. “Just paving this path for us and just having this opportunity to be the recipient of this scholarship, is just really, I’m grateful.” 

Taya will be part of the first-ever women’s golf team at Paine College, a historically Black college in Augusta. That new team, like the scholarship, is being funded by Augusta National Golf Club. 

“It’s a little bit intimidating because it’s the first women’s golf team at Paine but I think it’s a great opportunity to just help build it, with my teammates as well,” said Taya. “To go down in history, I mean, first of all, that’s just crazy in itself.” 

Taya just came back from Augusta, where she met with the Chairman of Augusta National and was able to tour the grounds, and the city she will soon call home for the next four years. 

“It was a lot to take in, that’s for sure. It was just an amazing experience because it was my first time being there and just everything I got to do and seeing the players and walking the course. It was just amazing,” said Taya.  

And she hopes it won’t be the first and only time she’s on the course. With the creation of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur in 2019, she now has an opportunity to compete there as well. 

“Yes, that would be amazing to be back there and hopefully get to play. That would be awesome,” said Taya. 

Elder died this past November, before seeing his legacy be celebrated through the scholarship. But Taya is determined to make him proud on and off the course. 

And she hopes it won’t be the first and only time she’s on the course. With the creation of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur in 2019, she now has an opportunity to compete there as well.
“Yes, that would be amazing to be back there and hopefully get to play. That would be awesome,” said Taya.

Elder died this past November, before seeing his legacy be celebrated through the scholarship. But Taya is determined to make him proud on and off the course.