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Augusta National adds first two female members

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DOUG FERGUSON
AP Golf Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- For the first time in its 80-year history, Augusta National Golf Club has female members.

The home of the Masters has invited former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore to become the first women in green jackets when the club opens for a new season in October.

Both women have accepted. The invitations end a 10-year controversy that began when former club chairman Hootie Johnson said the club would not be pressured "at the point of a bayonet" to change its all-male membership.

Augusta National chairman Billy Payne described Monday's announcement as a "joyous occasion" as he took the rare step of confirming its latest two members. He says it is a "significant and positive time" at the club. Augusta typically does not discuss membership.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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