Augusta club unshaken by defection

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:28 IST

Augusta National Golf Club showed no signs of bowing to pressure to allow women to join, even after a former television executive became the first member to def

Augusta club unshaken by defection

Las Vegas:

Augusta National Golf Club showed no signs of bowing to pressure to allow women to join, even after a former television executive became the first member to defect from the club over the issue. Former CBS chief executive Thomas H Wyman levelled a parting shot while resigning from the club where he has been a member for 25 years, calling Augusta National's stand on female members "pigheaded''. He maintained that up to a quarter of the club's 300 members feel the same way he does. Augusta National officials took the resignation in stride and said it would not change the club's position that it will decide when to admit women members on its own and that there will be none by the Masters tournament in April. "We are disappointed that Mr. Wyman has chosen to publicize a private matter," club spokesman Glenn Greenspan said. "While we respect the fact that there are differences of opinion on this issue, we intend to stand firm behind our right to make what are both appropriate and private membership choices". Wyman, who could not be reached on Tuesday despite repeated attempts, submitted his resignation in a November 27 letter to club chairman Hootie Johnson in which he said he hoped other members would also speak out. The resignation was first reported by The New York Times, which also interviewed Wyman on Monday. "I am not anxious to make this personal,'' Wyman told the newspaper. "But Hootie keeps writing that there has not been a single case of protest in the membership. And he absolutely believes this will all go away. It will not go away and it should not. I know there is a large number of members, at least 50 to 75, who believe it is inevitable that there will be and should be a woman member." "There are obviously some redneck, old-boy types down there, but there are a lot of very thoughtful, rational people in the membership and they feel as strongly as I do.'' Several Augusta National members, under pressure by the National Council of Women's Organizations, have publicly said they favoured admitting women and would work inside the club toward that goal. Wyman's resignation was apparently sparked by comments from Johnson last month that only seemed to harden the club's position that it will make its own rules. (AP)

Topics : Golf
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