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After Augusta, will R&A be next to allow women?

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Monday’s news that Augusta National has broken with 80 years of tradition and allowed its first two female members, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore, was met with particular interest across the Atlantic Ocean at the Royal & Ancient.

The organization that hosts the British Open, golf’s oldest championship, and manages the Rules of Golf everywhere except the United States and Mexico has been criticized in the past for holding the Open Championship at courses with all-male membership policies, like Muirfield which is scheduled to host next year’s championship.

“We read the announcement from Augusta National with great interest, and we congratulate Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore on their membership,” an R&A spokesman said in a statement. “The rules of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews specify a male membership, and this policy remains a matter for our members to determine.”