Masters reveals Augusta's shame

The Masters golf tournament, held annually at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, is on a collision course with reality.

Here's the dilemma: The tradition-rich club is, and always has been, a men-only venue. One of their three main sponsors, IBM, has a female CEO, Virginia Rometty.

This is the part where it gets a bit sticky. The four previous CEOs of IBM, all obviously males, held memberships at the club.

To add a bit of fuel to the mix was Augusta National's Chairman Billy Payne's deflection of questions posed to him about the club's stodgy, antiquated rules of admission. During that press conference, suffice it to say it's doubtful he gained many female supporters.

The worst-case scenario would be Augusta National's refusal to accept Ms. Rometty as a member and very possibly lose the integral IBM sponsorship. To me, it's simply a matter of swallowing the machismo pride and acquiescing to what is just and appropriate.

Before he heads out of the club to go home to watch "Father Knows Best" reruns, Mr. Payne and his "good ol' boy" network have some soul-searching to do.

Patrick R. Lynch, Nottingham

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