Augusta National Debate Extends to Players
Martha Burk, the chairwoman for the NCWO, said on ESPN radio that PGA Tour players need to take a moral stand in the debate as to whether the private club, which hosts the Masters Tournament, should include women members.
I know that women want to be members and I imagine that sooner or later (Augusta National chairman) Hootie Johnson will invite a woman to be a member there,' said 1998 Masters champion Mark OMeara. 'But from the standpoint of being forced to have a lady member there, you know, its a private club, and you cant always agree with what people do in a private club, but you know, thats why its private.
My feeling is, just back off a little, let it calm down and everything will be fine and I imagine that sooner or later there will be a female member.
A current member of Augusta National told ESPN radio that the club considered admitting a female member this year and discussed the matter four months ago, but changed their minds when they felt the NCWO was forcing them to do so.
After publicly trading letters of disapproval, Burk said she was going to target the Masters sponsors. Johnson countered by announcing the tournament was dropping its sponsors ' IBM, Coca-Cola and Citigroup ' in 2003, to shield them from the controversy.
Now, after saying she would next go after CBS, which has broadcasted the Masters for 46 years, Burk has targeted the players ' many of whom are reluctant to get involved.
I think the club probably has the right to do what they want to do, but I dont see why my opinion should count, said Justin Leonard.
Ive been on the road and havent been reading the papers, so Im just going to stay out of it, said 2000 Masters champion Vijay Singh.
There are others, however, who are not riding the fence.
You know what, its a private club and they can do what they want to do and if they dont want a woman member there then thats their prerogative, Steve Stricker said.
It doesnt really affect my life whether they have a woman member there or not. But, you know, Im going to go play in The Masters if Im invited because its where you want to be in April.
Augusta National has not had a woman member in its 69-year history. It introduced its first black member in 1990.
Over the course of the debate, the club has cited the following as its constitutional rights and the difference between Augusta National, a private club, and The Masters, a major golf tournament:
1. This is not a legal issue. The Masters has a constitutional right to its private membership.
2. Martha Burk tries to equate this to the Shoal Creek racial issue in 1990, but they are totally different. In America, there are women's colleges, the Girl Scouts of America and women's health clubs throughout the country. In Canada and overseas, there are women-only golf clubs.
3. The Club possibly will have a woman member in the future, but it
should be the Club's decision, not the decision of an outside group that knows little about the Club or Tournament. In Ms. Burk's initial letter, she placed a deadline on the Club to have a woman member (2003), and discussed the sponsors of the Tournament.
4. The winner in this sponsorship issue is the viewer. There will now be 12 hours of commercial free golf coverage.
5. What is presently happening is a corporate campaign. The National Council of Women's Organizations is targeting anyone associated with the Masters.
6. The reason we chose not to ask the sponsors to participate in 2003 was to spare them the inevitability of a continued corporate campaign that could have included protests and boycotts.
7. Dr. Burk is now telling individuals what to watch on television. In three online polls conducted this weekend, nearly 90 percent of respondents said they would continue to watch the Masters on CBS. Over 4.3 million women watched the Masters last year.
8. The Masters and Augusta National are different. One is a private club, and the other is a world-class sporting event that is completely inclusive.
9. The Masters is being used as a symbol. Several other Clubs do not allow women to play or even to enter the grounds. Women play at Augusta National regularly, and there are no restrictions on tee times. Women played over 1,000 rounds at the Club last year.
Burk said she is still deciding whether or not to picket The Masters in April.
More Golf Headlines
Group standings at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
Here are the group standings for pool play at the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas. The player with the most points in each pool advanced to Saturday's Round of 16 in Austin, Texas. Click here for scoring and click here for the bracket.
|Group 1||Group 2||Group 3||Group 4|
|(1) D. Johnson: 0-1-0||(2) J. Thomas: 1-0-0||(3) J. Rahm: 0-0-1||(4) J. Spieth: 2-0-0|
|(32) K. Kisner: 0-0-1||(21) F. Molinari: 1-0-0||(28) K. Aphibarnrat: 1-0-0||(19) P. Reed: 2-0-0|
|(38) A. Hadwin: 0-0-1
||(48) P. Kizzire: 0-1-0||(43) C. Reavie: 0-1-0||(34) H. Li: 0-2-0|
|(52) B. Wiesberger: 1-0-0
||(60) L. List: 0-1-0||(63) K. Bradley: 0-0-1||(49) C. Schwartzel: 0-2-0|
|Group 5||Group 6||Group 7||Group 8|
|(5) H. Matsuyama: 1-0-0||(6) R. McIlroy: 0-1-0||(7) S. Garcia: 1-0-0||(8) J. Day: 1-0-0|
|(30) P. Cantlay: 0-1-0
||(18) B. Harman: 0-0-1||(20) X. Schauffele: 1-0-0||(25) L. Oosthuizen: 1-0-0|
|(46) C. Smith: 1-0-0||(44) J. Vegas: 0-0-1||(41) D. Frittelli: 0-1-0||(42) J. Dufner: 0-1-0|
|(53) Y. Miyazato: 0-1-0||(51) P. Uihlein: 1-0-0||(62) S. Sharma: 0-1-0||(56) J. Hahn: 0-1-0|
|Group 9||Group 10||Group 11||Group 12|
|(9) T. Fleetwood: 1-1-0||(10) P. Casey: 1-0-0||(11) M. Leishman: 0-1-0||(12) T. Hatton: 1-0-0|
|(26) D. Berger: 0-2-0||(31) M. Fitzpatrick: 0-1-0||(23) B. Grace: 0-1-0||(22) C. Hoffman: 0-1-0|
|(33) K. Chappell: 1-1-0||(45) K. Stanley: 1-0-0||(35) B. Watson: 1-0-0||(36) B. Steele: 1-0-0|
|(58) I. Poulter: 2-0-0||(51) R. Henley: 0-1-0||(64) J. Suri: 1-0-0||(55) A. Levy: 0-1-0|
|Group 13||Group 14||Group 15||Group 16|
|(13) A. Noren: 2-0-0||(14) P. Mickelson: 0-1-0||(15) P. Perez: 0-0-1||(16) M. Kuchar: 0-0-1|
|(29) T. Finau: 2-0-0||(17) R. Cabrera Bello: 1-0-0||(24) G. Woodland: 0-0-1||(27) R. Fisher: 0-1-0|
|(39) T. Pieters: 0-2-0||(40) S. Kodaira: 0-1-0||(37) W. Simpson: 0-0-1||(47) Y. Ikeda: 1-0-0|
|(61) K. Na: 0-2-0||(59) C. Howell III: 1-0-0||(50) S.W. Kim: 0-0-1||(54) Z. Johnson: 0-0-1|
Watch: Bubba hits 366-yard tee shot ... with an iron
You know Bubba Watson is plenty long off the tee. And when you put a little wind to his back and let him hit downhill, the ball is bound to travel a great distance.
But, still, this is a 366-yard tee shot at the par-4 ninth hole at Austin C.C. ... with an iron. Yeah, it runs for a long time. But, again, 366 ... with an iron.
Watson won the hole with a par and made the turn, 2 up, in his Day 2 match against Marc Leishman at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
Romo starts hot, stumbles to 77 in PGA Tour debut
There was plenty of good, but also plenty of bad for Tony Romo in his PGA Tour debut.
Playing in the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship on a sponsor exemption, Romo shot an even-par 36 for his opening nine holes in the Dominican Republic. The former NFL quarterback bogeyed his first two holes, but steadied the ship with three birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 4-8.
The early highlight of the round came at the par-4 fifth hole, where Romo drained a putt from across the green for his second straight birdie:
But the back nine wasn't as kind for the 37-year-old, who dropped five shots in a four-hole stretch from Nos. 13-16. It added up to a 5-over 77 in the opening round, which left Romo ahead of only Guy Boros among the players who had finished in the morning wave.
"I hit two poor tee balls. Just didn't commit to it, and ultimately just got put in a tough spot where you're just trying to make par," Romo said. "I hit a lot of good shots, and they ended up a couple times in some poor spots. But you learn the golf course as you play it throughout the week."
Romo has played as an amateur partner in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and has played individually in U.S. Open local qualifiers and mini-tour events as an amateur. But this marks his first attempt to gauge his game against the best players in the world who are not in Austin for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
Romo was even par through 12 holes before a three-putt bogey from the fringe on No. 13. A nasty lie in the rough led to a double bogey on the par-5 14th, and Romo had to hit provisional tee shots on both Nos. 15 and 16. While he ultimately found his original ball on both holes, he left with a pair of bogeys.
"I really hit some good shots, and I'm close," Romo said. "I had a chance to be under par pretty easily there for a while, and then two or three shots on the back nine cost me. But that's golf."
Romo will tee off at 1 p.m. ET Friday in the second round alongside Dru Love and Denny McCarthy.
Horschel, Kisner & Perez join "Feherty," Monday, March 26 at 9 p.m. ET
Billy Horschel, Kevin Kisner and Pat Perez – each winners of multiple events on the PGA TOUR – will join David Feherty on his self-titled, Emmy-nominated series Feherty presented by Farmers Insurance®, Monday at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.
“This might be the biggest group of benign social deviants I’ve ever had the privilege of speaking to,” said Feherty. “They’ve been responsible for nine career wins on TOUR collectively, but they’re each also capable of getting into some mischief.”
The episode – filmed in Naples, Fla. – will touch upon several topics, including:
- Their respective upbringings and corresponding introductions to golf.
- Reflections on their junior golf and collegiate playing days, and how it helped prepare them to compete as a professional.
- Contemplating which mulligan(s) they’d take in their life if given the opportunity.
Future guests on Feherty this year include Paul Azinger, Stewart Cink, Boo Weekley and Paul Goydos, among others.
A two-time Emmy-nominated host (Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Host) Feherty has been described as “golf’s iconoclast,” by Rolling Stone, and “the last unscripted man on TV,” by Men’s Journal. His all-star lineup of golf-enthused and culturally relevant guests feature celebrities from across entertainment, sports and politics. To date, Feherty has sat down with four U.S. Presidents (Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump); sports legends Charles Barkley, Nick Saban, Stephen Curry and Bobby Knight; Hollywood icons Matthew McConaughey, Larry David and Samuel L. Jackson; World Golf of Fame members Nancy Lopez, Jack Nicklaus, Annika Sorenstam, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson; and a host of current golf superstars including Paula Creamer, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Michelle Wie. Feherty is produced by Golf Channel’s original productions group, which also oversees production for Driver vs. Driver and Golf Films.