Augusta National golf club's female exclusion issue reaches flashpoint ahead of Masters

   Apr 5, 2:01 pm

Washington, Apr 5(ANI): The row over the lack of female members in the Augusta National Golf Club, escalated as chairman Billy Payne repeatedly refused to answer questions on whether the club would invite chief executive of long-time Masters sponsor IBM, Virginia Rometty, to join its ranks.

"All issues of membership are now, and have been historically, subject to the private deliberations of the members. That statement remains accurate," The Telegraph quoted Payne, as saying, in an effort to elude discussions on the issue.

The issue of female exclusion has been crucial at Augusta but it has sparked off greater controversy after IBM appointed Rometty as its first female chief executive last October.

The previous four male IBM CEOs have been admitted as members.

Payne gave no indication that Augusta would keep the precedent in the wake of Rometty's elevation.

"We don't talk about our private deliberations. We especially don't talk about it when a named candidate is a part of the question," he added.

The Augusta National has no clear -cut policy against female membership, but it has failed to admit a single female member in its 79 years of existence. (ANI)

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