Entries in Masters Golf Tournament (2)


Augusta Admits First Two Women Members

Jennifer Pottheiser/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After decades of controversy, the all-male Augusta National Golf Club has admitted its first female members, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and business executive Darla Moore.

The prestigious Augusta National Golf Club is best known for hosting the Masters Tournament and the exclusivity surrounding the green jacket club.

Since its inception in 1933, Augusta National has been embroiled in several heated debates for not allowing female club members.

"This is a joyous occasion," Augusta National chairman Billy Payne said Monday.

"I have visited Augusta National on several occasions and look forward to playing golf, renewing friendships and forming new ones through this very special opportunity," Rice said on Monday of the honor. "I have long admired the important role Augusta National has played in the traditions and history of golf. I also have an immense respect for the Masters Tournament and its commitment to grow the game of golf, particularly with youth, here in the United States and throughout the world."

Moore is also very happy about the news.

"Augusta National has always captured my imagination and is one of the most magically beautiful places anywhere in the world, as everyone gets to see during the Masters each April," Moore said. "I am fortunate to have many friends who are members at Augusta National, so to be asked to join them as a member represents a very happy and important occasion in my life."

Martha Burk of the National Council of Women's Organizations had been pushing for the club to allow women since 2002.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Weighs In: Should Women Should Be Admitted to Augusta?

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama believes that women should be admitted to the all-male Augusta National Golf Club, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Thursday.

“His personal opinion is that women should be admitted,” Carney said of the president. “It's obviously up to the club to decide.  But his personal opinion is that women should be admitted to the club.”

The prestigious Georgia club, which opened in 1933 and is home to the Masters, has never had a female member, although women can play as guests of members. This year’s Masters presents a unique challenge to the all-male membership policy. Tournament sponsor IBM has a new, female CEO, Virginia Rometty.

Carney did not know whether the president, an avid golfer, would ever agree to play at a course that discriminated against women, but reiterated that Obama “believes Augusta should admit women.”

“We are… long past the time when women should be excluded from anything,” Carney said.

Mitt Romney also weighed in Thursday on the debate over whether females should be able to become members of the Augusta National Golf Club. Asked after an event in northeastern Pennsylvania whether he believes the club should permit women members, Romney responded, “Yes.”

“Well of course. I’m not a member of Augusta,” he said. “I don’t know I would qualify – my golf game is not that good but certainly if I were a member and if I could run Augusta which isn’t likely to happen but of course I’d have women in Augusta, sure.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio