Tiger Woods has donated $10,000 to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore )UMES) to jump start the school’s new scholarship fund honoring the late Charlie Sifford.
The new Sifford Fund will, according to the school, “provide need-based scholarships to highly talented students who demonstrate a passion for the game of golf … and who are from populations underrepresented in the golf industry.”
UMES is the nation’s only historically black university to offer a PGA of America-accredited bachelor’s program in golf management.
“The University of Maryland Eastern Shore is honored to accept this generous gift from Tiger Woods to support our professional golf management program and to partner with us in acknowledging Dr. Sifford’s role as a sports pioneer,” said UMES president Juliette Bell.
Sifford, whose was the first black man to earn a PGA Tour card, died Feb. 3 at the age of 92, just a few months after receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Nov. 24, joining Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer as the only golfers to receive the executive branch’s highest civilian honor. A reception the school held in Washington in Sifford’s honor that night sparked an interest in finding ways to honor Sifford and his accomplishments, leading to the formation of the scholarship fund.
Woods, who called Sifford “the grandpa I never had,” credits the pioneering golfer with his start in the game.
“It’s not an exaggeration to say that without Charlie, and the other pioneers who fought to play, I may not be playing golf,” Woods told the Associated Press last year. “My pop (Earl) likely wouldn’t have picked up the sport, and maybe I wouldn’t have either.”