SC’s Moore breaks gender barrier at Augusta National

For the first time in its existence, Augusta National Golf Club will have a female as part of its membership.

And a South Carolina woman, Darla Moore, made history by becoming the first woman to join the Augusta National family.

The home of the Masters, Augusta National is one of the PGA Tour’s most recognizable courses but for more than 75 years was also known for its exclusivity, not allowing female golfers to become members.

Billy Paine, Augusta National Chairman, announced Monday that Condoleezza Rice and Moore were joining the club.

“This is a joyous occasion as we enthusiastically welcome Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore as members of Augusta National Golf Club,” 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.

“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.”

Rice served as Secretary of State under George W. Bush and is a noted sports fan and enthusiast. Moore is vice president of investment company Rainwater Inc. in South Carolina.

Rice said in a statement that she felt fortunate to break the sexism barrier at Augusta National.

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