Darla Moore, Condoleezza Rice are first female members of Augusta National Golf Club
Mon, 20 Aug 2012 15:14:04 GMT — NEW YORK (AP) -- For the first time in its 80-year history, Augusta National Golf Club has female members.
The home of the Masters has invited former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore to become the first women in green jackets when the club opens for a new season in October.
Both women have accepted. The invitations end a 10-year controversy that began when former club chairman Hootie Johnson said the club would not be pressured "at the point of a bayonet" to change its all-male membership.
Rice and Moore released statements Monday about accepting their invitations to join the club.
"Golf is a wonderful source of enjoyment for me, and I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity to grow my love for this great game," said Rice.
"I am extremely grateful for this privilege," said Moore.
Augusta National chairman Billy Payne described Monday's announcement as a "joyous occasion" as he took the rare step of confirming its latest two members. He says it is a "significant and positive time" at the club. Augusta typically does not discuss membership.