[QODLink]
Golf
Augusta National welcomes women members
For the first time in its 80-year history, the home of the Masters golf tournament has admitted two female members.
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2012 16:19
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is one of two women to join the exclusive club [AP]

Augusta National, home of the Masters golf tournament, said on Monday the exclusive club has admitted the first
women members in its 80-year history.

Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina businesswoman Darla Moore have accepted invitations to join the club in Augusta, Georgia, chairman Billy Payne said.

"This is a joyous occasion as we enthusiastically welcome Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore as members of Augusta National Golf Club," Payne said.

Augusta National has come under increasing pressure to admit women members, with the question of the exclusive policy coming up each year when the club hosts the first major golf tournament of the year, the Masters.

The issue first came to a head in 2003 when Martha Burk, a leader in the National Council of Women's Organisations, conducted a rally across the street from Augusta National, where the first black member was inducted in 1990.

"This is a joyous occasion as we enthusiastically welcome Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore as members of Augusta National Golf Club"

Club Chairman Billy Payne

Hootie Johnson, Augusta National's chairman in 2003, had gone so far as to release broadcast sponsors from their advertising commitments when Burk threatened to target them for backing the club's men-only policy as discrimination.

In April Payne himself refused to discuss the issue when it was raised in the days before the Masters, but said in a statement on Monday that the process for admitting Rice and Moore had been the same as for any other members.

"Consideration with regard to any candidate is deliberate, held in strict confidence and always takes place over an extended period of time," Payne said.

"The process for Condoleezza and Darla was no different.

"These accomplished women share our passion for the game of golf and both are well known and respected by our membership. It will be a proud moment when we present Condoleezza and Darla their Green Jackets when the Club opens this fall.

"This is a significant and positive time in our Club's history and, on behalf of our membership, I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome them and all of our new members into the Augusta National family."

394

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The world's newest professional sport comes from an unlikely source: video games.
The group's takeover of farms in Qaraqosh, 30km from Mosul, has caused fear among residents, and a jump in food prices.
Protests and online activism in recent months have brought a resurgence of ethnic Oromo nationalism in Ethiopia.
Chemotherapy is big business, but some US doctors say it could be overused and are pushing for cheaper and better care.
Amid vote audit and horse-trading, politicians of all hues agree a compromise is needed to avoid political instability.
join our mailing list