Condoleezza Rice makes history — again! The former U.S. Secretary of State, a first for a black woman, and the country’s first female national security advisor, was recently admitted to the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. Rice and noted banking pioneer Darla Moore are the first female members to be extended an invitation to the private club which opened in 1932, and where the prestigious Masters Tournament is held annually.
“This is a joyous occasion as we enthusiastically welcome Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore as members of Augusta National Golf Club,” club chairman Billy Payne said in a statement. “We are fortunate to consider many qualified candidates for membership at Augusta National. Consideration with regard to any candidate is deliberate, held in strict confidence and always takes place over an extended period of time. The process for Condoleezza and Darla was no different. It will be a proud moment when we present Condoleezza and Darla their green jackets when the club opens this fall.”
“I have long admired the important role Augusta National has played in the traditions and history of golf. I also have an immense respect for the Masters tournament and its commitment to grow the game of golf, particularly with youth, here in the United States and throughout the world,” shared Rice, who has been playing there as a guest. She’s looking forward to “playing golf, renewing friendships and forming new ones through this very special opportunity”.
Surprisingly, Augusta admitted its first black members in 1990. In early spring, both President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney called for the Club to reconsider their 80-year-old policy.
In a statement to press, Tiger Woods says Augusta National’s decision “is important to golf. The Club continues to demonstrate its commitment to impacting the game in positive ways. I would like to congratulate both new members, especially my friend Condi Rice.”
In 1997, Woods won his first green jacket at the Masters, breaking the record and becoming the number one player in the world. –yvette casli