Former Secretary of State Condoleeze Rice and businesswoman Darla Moore are the first two women admitted to Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters. Women have been knocking on the door of the club for years. The statement of Club president Billy Payne did not avoid the historic nature of the announcement:
This is a joyous occasion as we enthusiastically welcome Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore as members of Augusta National Golf Club. 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.
These accomplished women share our passion for the game of golf and both are well known and respected by our membership. It will be a proud moment when we present Condoleezza and Darla their Green Jackets when the Club opens this fall.
This is a significant and positive time in our Club's history and, on behalf of our membership, I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome them and all of our new members into the Augusta National family.
I've loved Condoleeza Rice since taking her class at Stanford: The Role of the Military in Politics. She's a wonderful, dynamic woman who gave me the single greatest piece of advice anyone has ever given me. It does make me proud that she is one of the first women to be accepted by this long-time good ol' boys network. Now if only she could find her way into the NFL commissioner's position....