Black golfer Charlie Sifford to receive Medal of Freedom for breaking game's racial barriers

Pioneering black golfer Charlie Sifford will receive the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, on Nov. 24 during a ceremony at the White House.

The 92-year-old Sifford has been compared to Jackie Robinson for finally breaking the PGA's color line when it reluctantly dropped its "Caucasian only" membership rule in 1961 and issued him full playing privileges on the PGA Tour. Sifford has been credited with opening the doors to other minority golfers. Tiger Woods has long called Sifford his grandfather and has said that were it not for Sifford and other pioneers, he may not have ever played golf.

Sifford was inducted in the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2004 and in in 2006 received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.


AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson contributed to this report.