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Minority junior golf pioneer Dickey passes away

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William 'Bill' Dickey, who founded the National Minority Junior Golf Association in 1984, died Tuesday according to his eponymous scholarship foundation. He was 84.

According to the Bill Dickey Scholarship Association website, Dickey created the junior golf association to promote minority players at an early age and expose them to the fundamentals and principles of the game. In 2005, the NMJGSA was renamed the Bill Dickey Scholarship Association to honor Dickey.

The annual Bill Dickey Invitational (BDI) was played for the 13th time earlier this summer.

“We are proud of the accomplishments of these outstanding junior golfers and will continue to encourage their developmentthrough hosting prestigious events like the BDI at world-class facilities like the courses at The Golf Club of Georgia to showcase their talents,” Dickey is quoted as saying on the BDSA website.

Dickey was honored with the PGA of America’s Distinguished Service Award in 1999 and has been credited with helping launch careers of numerous high-profile minorities golfers.

“I began my golf career as a member of Mr. Dickey’s Desert Mashie Golf Club when I was about 8,” Cheyenne Woods wrote Tuesday on her Twitter account. “He had a huge influence on my golf career.”

In another post she wrote: “Rest in peace Mr. Bill Dickey. This man opened so many doors and gave so many opportunities to minority golfers. Thank you Mr. Dickey.”