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The University of Maryland Eastern Shore said on Thursday it has its first individual donor to a scholarship fund honoring the late professional golf pioneer Charlie Sifford.

The donor: Tiger Woods.

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UMES officials said on Thursday that the PGA Tour star contributed a personal gift of $10,000 to help launch the Sifford Fund, which would provide need-based scholarships for student golf enthusiasts from areas "underrepresented in the golf industry."

UMES executive vice president Kimberly Dumpson said that though the scholarship fund is in its early stages school officials hope to begin distributing awards as early as next fall.

Sifford led the way in successfully desegregating the PGA in the 1960s. He died at the age of 92 last month, less than three months after President Barack Obama presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

UMES officials said that the school's connection with Sifford began at a tribute reception it hosted on Capitol Hill for Sifford the evening he was honored with the Medal of Freedom.

Officials said that Sifford met students enrolled in UMES' professional golf management program, which they say is the only such program at an historically black university that offers a bachelor's degree in accredited by the PGA of America.

"Dr. Sifford was able to see the future [of golf] before him," said Dumpson. She said that minorities and women comprise more than half the students in the program, which prepares students for such careers as competitive golf, business, marketing and hospitality.

Woods has credited Sifford for helping pave the way for him to play competitive golf.

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