PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem expressed his kudos to Augusta National Golf Club on Monday for their decision to admit the club’s first two female members in their 80-year history.
“The PGA Tour commends Augusta National Golf Club on the news that it has invited Condolezza Rice and Darla Moore to become its first women members,” Finchem said in a statement. “At a time when women represent one of the fastest growing segments in both playing and following the game of golf, this sends a positive and inclusive message for our sport.”
Finchem was a man between a rock and a hard place as soon as May, when asked about the Tour’s view on the lack of female membership at the home of the Masters. PGA Tour policy dictates host clubs to sanctioned events must at least not active discriminate in membership decisions on the basis of race or gender.
“In the case of the Masters, we have concluded a number of times now, and we have certainly not moved off of this, that we are not going to give up the Masters as a tournament on our tour,” he said in May. “It’s too important. And so at the end of the day, the membership of that club have to determine their membership. They are not doing anything illegal.
“But we just elect to continue to recognize them as an official money event on the PGA Tour because we think it’s that important to golf, so we don’t get to determining whether their policies are right or wrong, because we don’t have to, because we made the conclusion that regardless of those policies, we are going to continue to play and recognize them as part of the PGA Tour.”