Obama on Sifford: 'He proved that he belonged'


Barack Obama, who presented Charlie Sifford with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November, issued a statement Wednesday offering his condolences after the golf pioneer died Tuesday at 92.

Obama's full statement:

"Michelle and I offer our condolences on the passing of golf legend Charlie Sifford. Charlie was the first African-American to earn a PGA tour card – often facing indignity and injustice even as he faced the competition. Though his best golf was already behind him, he proved that he belonged, winning twice on tour and blazing a trail for future generations of athletes in America. I was honored to award Charlie the Presidential Medal of Freedom last year – for altering the course of the sport and the country he loved. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his friends, and his fans."

Sifford joined Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus as the only golfers to win the Presidential Medal of Freedom.