South Carolina-based financing executive Darla Moore was announced Monday as one of the first two female members in the 80-year history of Augusta National Golf Club.
Reports suggested Moore, along with fellow new member and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, were under consideration for ground-breaking membership as soon as 2007.
Moore may have been considered even five years soon than that.
An Associated Press report from 2002 teased a then-48-year-old Moore as a likely candidate to be the club’s first female member.
Asked about the possibility of joining the club in 2002, Moore deflected questions on the issue.
“Everybody wants to talk about Augusta,” Moore said on Oct. 7, 2002. “I think we have a whole lot more to worry about than this issue. We’ve got an unstable economy. We’re getting ready to go to war. It’s not on my radar screen. We need to talk about something a little more important than golf.”
Moore is friends with former Augusta National chairman Hootie Johnson, who was under pressure at the time from Martha Burk and the National Council of Women’s Organizations to admit a woman to the club. Johnson, who also made his money in finance, worked with Moore on a $300 million capital campaign at the University of South Carolina in the late 1990s. Johnson helped get Moore’s name on the business schoolin 1998.
The now-member of the club joked with Johnson about the membership issue, according to her father Gene.
“Darla kids Hootie about it,” said Gene Moore in the same ’02 Associated Press report. “She’s low-key on that. She’s too much of a friend to Hootie.”
Moore is said to have limited availability to tee it up, but does when she can.