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Augusta National Accepts Condoleezza Rice Among First Female Members

Condoleeza Rice and South Carolina businesswoman Darla Moore are the first two female members of Augusta National Golf Club, Chairman Billy Payne announced Monday.

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Augusta National Golf Club announced in a press release Monday that it will accept its first two female members, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina businesswoman Darla Moore, this year. Chairman of Augusta and The Masters Tournament Billy Payne made the decision 10 years after former Chairman Hootie Johnson was brought under intense scrutiny for the club's exclusionary policy.

Payne called the decision "a significant and positive time" in the club's history, and Rice and Moore will have their first chance to play the most famous course in golf this fall.

"This is a joyous occasion as we enthusiastically welcome Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore as members of Augusta National Golf Club," Payne said in a statement. "We are fortunate to consider many qualified candidates for membership at Augusta National. Consideration with regard to any candidate is deliberate, held in strict confidence and always takes place over an extended period of time. 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."

Despite the fact that the decision came a few decades late in many people's eyes, it's undoubtedly a banner day for equality in sports. Maybe sometime soon, Rice and Moore will have enough female playing partners for a foursome.

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Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.