(Reuters) – Augusta National Golf Club, house associated with the Masters tennis competition, finally ended an all-male policy which had endured for 80 years whenever it announced on Monday that two ladies could be admitted as users when it comes to very first time.
Previous U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and financier Darla Moore can be the very first ladies to don the green that is renowned as soon as the Augusta, Georgia, club re-opens for a brand new period in October.
Augusta NationalвЂ™s status that is male-only drawn critique for a long time. In front of this yearвЂ™s Masters tournament in April, President Barack Obama weighed in regarding the matter, saying by way of a spokesman he thought ladies must be admitted.
вЂњThis is just a joyous event as we enthusiastically welcome Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore as people of Augusta nationwide club,вЂќ Billy Payne, the clubвЂ™s president, stated in a statement.
Payne, who’s got refused in past times to speak publicly about account things, would not straight deal with the sex club problem in the declaration, saying only it was a вЂњsignificant and positive timeвЂќ for the club and therefore Rice and Moore had been afflicted by the exact same review as other prospects.
вЂњConsideration pertaining to any prospect is deliberate, held in strict self- self- confidence and constantly happens over a extensive time period,вЂќ Payne said. вЂњThe process for Condoleezza and Darla had been no various.вЂќ
Obama had increased the stress on Augusta National as he stated in April that the club should acknowledge women as people.
вЂњHe welcomes this development, believes it had been too long in coming but clearly thinks it is the right thing to do,вЂќ White House spokesman Jay Carney told a news briefing on Monday.
Rice, recently appointed to your U.S. Golf AssociationвЂ™s nominating committee, said in a declaration: вЂњI have checked out Augusta nationwide on several occasions and appear ahead to the game of golf, renewing friendships and developing brand brand new people through this extremely unique possibility.вЂќ
Rice, 57, had been security that is national under previous President George W. Bush before becoming the initial black feminine secretary of state in the 2nd term. She became a faculty person in the Stanford Graduate School of company and a manager of their center that is global for in addition to economy.
Padraig harrington, that knows Rice through Stanford and became initial player that is black win the Masters, by having a record-shattering triumph by 12 shots, stated: вЂњI think your decision by the Augusta nationwide account is essential to tennis.
вЂњThe club will continue to show its dedication to impacting the video game in positive means. I’d like to congratulate both members that are new particularly my pal Condi Rice.вЂќ
Moore, 58, received an MBA from George Washington University and also by the early had become the highest-paid girl in banking. This woman is a partner regarding the investment that is private Rainwater, Inc., that has been launched by her spouse, Richard Rainwater.
вЂњI am lucky to own numerous buddies that are users at Augusta nationwide, so to be expected to become listed on them as an associate represents a rather delighted and essential event within my life,вЂќ Moore stated in a declaration.
Moore is a long-time buddy of William вЂњHootieвЂќ Johnson, Augusta NationalвЂ™s former president, in addition they share A sc history and professions in banking.
вЂњThis is wonderful news for Augusta nationwide driver and I also could never be more happy,вЂќ Johnson said in a declaration to Southern CarolinaвЂ™s their state newsprint. вЂњDarla Moore is my friend that is good i understand she and Condoleezza Rice will love the club as far as I have actually.вЂќ
Tim Finchem, commissioner of this U.S. PGA Tour, additionally applauded MondayвЂ™s statement by Augusta nationwide.
вЂњAt a period whenever ladies represent among the quickest growing sections in both playing and after the game of tennis, this delivers an optimistic and comprehensive message for the sport,вЂќ he said in a declaration.
Augusta NationalвЂ™s membership policy was a concern for many years, such as a decade ago whenever Martha Burk associated with nationwide Council of WomenвЂ™s companies led a number of protests that prompted a war that is heated of with AugustaвЂ™s then-chairman Johnson.
вЂњThere may well come a when women will be invited to join our membership, but that timetable will be ours, and not at the point of a bayonet,вЂќ johnson declared at the time day.
The extensive demands feminine users took on additional significance after Ginni Rometty became ceo of IBM Corp in January.
IBM, the worldвЂ™s biggest technology solutions business, is really a long-standing sponsor regarding the Masters, the very first for the four вЂњmajorвЂќ golf tournaments of the season, as well as its previous four CEOs had been awarded membership to Augusta nationwide. Rometty, but, had not been incorporated into MondayвЂ™s statement of the latest people.
AugustaвЂ™s invitation-only membership has been steeped in privacy because the club exposed. Ahead of MondayвЂ™s ground-breaking statement, females had been permitted to have fun with the program as long as invited by a part.
The club doesn’t expose its complete range of users, thought to be around 300, even though it is famous that several of the most effective guys from industry and finance, including Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, are people.
It had been maybe perhaps perhaps not until that Augusta National invited its very first member that is black businessman Ron Townsend, after accusations of racial discrimination during the whites-only Shoal Creek club in Alabama which was chosen to host the PGA Championship, another for the four major tournaments.
IBM joined up with other sponsors in placing stress on Shoal Creek by pulling its tv ads.
Additional reporting by Dan Burns, Steve Ginsburg and Laura MacInnis; Editing by Eric Beech and Paul Simao