British Open to Consider Women

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LONDON -- British Open organizers would consider allowing women to play in the tournament for the first time if they qualify.
 
Peter Dawson, chief executive of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club, was asked Tuesday about the possibility of 14-year-old American Michelle Wie qualifying for the July 15-18 championship at Royal Troon.

'If a woman qualifies, we would have a difficulty because our entry form says male golfers,' Dawson said. 'The championship committee would have to take it very seriously, however, if a woman does meet one of the qualification criteria. It would be difficult not to.'
 
Augusta National chairman Hootie Johnson said earlier this month he would welcome Wie to the Masters.
 
'We'd be pleased to have Michelle play in the Masters tournament if she qualifies,' he said.
 
Earlier this season Wie missed the cut by one stroke in the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Hawaii.
 
A place in the British Open will go to the leading non-exempt player in both the John Deere Classic (July 1-4) and the Western Open (8-11). Wie could be invited to play in those events.