Martha Burk said Monday that Finchem is ducking the subject and suggested once again that tour sponsors might be the next target in her campaign to open the home of the Masters to women.
'It is wrong for Finchem to believe he can say, 'We don't have any control over Augusta,' and let it go at that,' said Burk, head of the National Council of Women's Organizations. 'I think he has given it short shrift to say the least. His response is not acceptable to the public.'
Finchem's speech comes a few days before the U.S. Olympic Committee executive committee will debate CEO Lloyd Ward's membership at Augusta National, increasing the visibility of the issue even as the official golf season ends.
Finchem is scheduled to deliver his annual speech Wednesday at the season-ending TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola in Atlanta, a few hours' drive from Augusta, Ga.
Finchem's only response to the push for female members came in an August letter to Burk, in which he said the TOUR has no contract with Augusta National and no plans to change its relationship with the Masters tournament.
Tour pokesman Bob Combs said Monday that Finchem has nothing new to say.
'The commissioner has articulated the tour's policy, and we have nothing else to add,' Combs said.
One of the players who is on the tour's advisory board, however, said that Finchem should not hide from the issue.
'We can't fall behind the 'We don't sanction the event,'' stance,' said Brad Faxon, who has played in nine Masters.
Faxon also said he fears the controversy over admitting women to Augusta National could get even worse.
'There's three things that can happen,' Faxon said. 'They can allow a lady member and it goes away. They cannot allow one and suffer the consequences for another six months. Or they can cancel the tournament and say, 'The hell with the world. We'll go back to being our own private club.''
Burk said Finchem's earlier reply skirted the issue and was inadequate for both the public and the tour's sponsors. She said sponsors of PGA Tour events might be targeted if Finchem does not discuss the matter directly.
'I accept they don't have the power to change policies at Augusta,' Burk said. 'They do have control over recognizing the Masters tournament and counting the winnings for players. It has allowed them to create a double standard. Augusta enjoys the benefits of TOUR recognition without having to comply with the rules.'
Ward's membership at Augusta National will be on the agenda Friday when the USOC's executive committee meets in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Ward was the first member to say in April that he would work behind the scenes to admit a woman, and reiterated that stand this month. But there is grumbling within the USOC that he should leave the club.
'I believe the USOC has to answer the questions about this,' USOC president Marty Mankamyer said. 'I don't know what the answer will be.'
Mankamyer said it is doubtful that Ward, one of a handful of black Augusta National members, will be told to resign from the club. But she said the USOC will take a public stand.
'We feel we have a public trust,' she said. 'You keep seeing things in the newspaper, and people keep calling to see what your position is. The USOC executive committee will have a statement on its position in this.'
Anita DeFrantz, a member of the executive committee and the International Olympic Committee, said Ward's job is not at stake.
'I will not be a part of running the first African-American CEO out of town on the basis of diversity,' DeFrantz said.
The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.