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Augusta Chairman Recovering from Heart Surgery

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AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Augusta National chairman Hootie Johnson had heart surgery Friday and is expected to make a complete recovery.
 
Club spokesman Glenn Greenspan said the surgery, which had been scheduled in advance, involved a coronary artery bypass, aortic aneurism repair and aortic valve replacement.
 
'He's fine and resting comfortably,'' Greenspan said.
 
He did not disclose where the surgery took place.
 
The 71-year-old Johnson, who has been in charge of the Masters since becoming club chairman in 1998, is at the center of a public dispute over its all-male membership.
 
The National Council of Women's Organization sent a letter in June urging Augusta National to have a female member. Johnson replied in a scathing three-page statement that the 69-year-old club would not be 'bullied'' into that decision.
 
Last month, he dropped the Masters' three television sponsors for the 2003 tournament, creating the only commercial-free sports event in the United States.
 
Johnson also caused a stir by overseeing a massive redesign of Augusta National for this year's Masters, and by changing the tournament qualifications to eliminate past champions after they turn 65.
 
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