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Famed Augusta National Golf Club Adds First 2 Female Members

Aug 20, 2012
Originally published on August 20, 2012 1:06 pm

Breaking news from The Associated Press about a historic day for one of the nation's most historic sporting venues:

"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 club's refusal to let women join has been an issue for at least a decade.

We'll have more shortly. Click "refresh" to be sure you're seeing our latest updates.

Update at 12:45 p.m. ET. Another Way Of Knowing It's A National Story; Romney Reacts:

"Congrats to my friend @CondoleezzaRice for joining Augusta National & congrats to Augusta National for admitting its first female members," tweets Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney.

Update at 11:45 a.m. ET. National Focus Began In 2002:

Augusta's lack of women members became a national story in 2002, as the AP says, "when Martha Burk of the National Council of Women's Organizations urged the club to include women among its members." Today, just after the news came out, NCWO was touting it on its Facebook and Twitter pages.

This past April, before the the 2012 Masters, USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan told Morning Edition that Rice had long been rumored to be a likely choice as one of the club's first female members.

Update at 11:20 a.m. ET. "Joyous Occasion":

"This is a joyous occasion," Augusta National and Masters Tournament chairman Billy Payne says in a statement, according to The Augusta Chronicle. "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."

The AP notes that "Augusta National, which opened in December 1932 and did not have a black member until 1990, is believed to have about 300 members. While the club until now had no female members, women were allowed to play the golf course as guests, including on the Sunday before the Masters week began in April."

Update at 11:12 a.m. ET. About Rice:

The former secretary of state's official biography from her time in the administration of President George W. Bush is archived here.

Update at 11:10 a.m. ET. About Moore:

According to the AP, "Moore, 58, first rose to prominence in the 1980s with Chemical Bank, where she became the highest-paid woman in the banking industry. She is vice president of Rainwater, Inc., a private investment company founded by her husband, Richard Rainwater. She was the first woman to be profiled on the cover of Fortune Magazine, and she made a $25 million contribution to her alma mater, South Carolina, which renamed its business school after her."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.