Settle membership debate privately: Tiger Woods

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:28 IST

Without taking sides or offering to be the mediator, Tiger Woods said the best way to resolve the membership debate at Augusta National is to hash it out in pri

Settle membership debate privately: Tiger Woods

Florida:

Without taking sides or offering to be the mediator, Tiger Woods said the best way to resolve the membership debate at Augusta National is to hash it out in private."There's no substitute for looking someone in the eye," he said on Wednesday. But the chances of that happening are remote.Martha Burk, head of the National Council of Women's Organizations, sent the club a letter in June asking it to add a female member so its all-male membership does not become an issue at the 2003 Masters.Augusta chairman Hootie Johnson replied in a terse, three-sentence letter that club issues are private and there would be no further discussion. He then sent a three-page statement to the media, saying Augusta would not be bullied into having a female member.Woods said he would like to see a female member at Augusta, but that private clubs have a right to set their own policies."Hootie is right, and Martha is right. That's the problem," Woods said after a practice round for the Disney World Golf Classic. "They're both right, but they're going about it the wrong way. If they both sat down and talked about it, it would be resolved a lot better than what's going on right now."Burk said she was pleased Woods repeated the need for Augusta National to admit a female member but disappointed his position was not stronger."I'd like to know what about sex discrimination he thinks is right," Burk said. "He seems to want to apologize out of the situation by saying he's going to be criticized no matter what he does. I can't conceive of an individual criticizing Tiger for speaking out against discrimination. If others had taken that view, he'd be a caddie at Augusta. He wouldn't be a player."Burk said she offered to meet with Johnson at his convenience, in person or over the phone, and was accused by the Augusta chairman of trying to arrange secret meetings."Perhaps Tiger can convince Hootie that his approach is a little militant," Burk said.Burk has criticized Woods for refusing to take a stronger position ever since he first talked about the membership issue during the British Open. (AP)



Topics : Golf
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