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Tim Finchem: The Masters is too important to drop
By mustang6560 on 5/10/12
In his annual "State of the PGA Tour" address, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem was asked about the membership policy at Augusta National, which is the home of the Masters.
Q. With Augusta National's all‑male membership again an issue at this year's Masters, how does the PGA TOUR view its discriminatory policy?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Well, I think the position of the PGA TOUR hasn't changed. We have a policy that says that when we go out and do a co‑sanctioned event, we are going to play it at a club that is as open to women members, open to minority members, etc., and we follow that policy carefully.

In the case of the Masters, we concluded‑‑ we have concluded a number of times now, and we have certainly not moved off of this; that we are not going to give up the Masters as a tournament on our tour. It's too important. And so at the end of the day, the membership of that club have to determine their membership. They are not doing anything illegal.

But we just elect to continue to recognize them as an official money event on the PGA TOUR because we think it's that important to golf, so we don't get to determining whether their policies are right or wrong, because we don't have to, because we made the conclusion that regardless of those policies, we are going to continue to play and recognize them as part of the PGA TOUR.
I know some people don't like that position, and I appreciate that and I understand their reasoning, but that's the decision we've made.
The commish did receive some flack for his comments during the press conference, however, it was a loaded question. The only "acceptable" answer Tim could have provided - at least in the eyes of the reporter who asked the question - was to say the PGA Tour is strongly opposed to the policy and can no longer co-sanction the event on its annual schedule, which isn't going to happen in the near future.

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Image via Flickr, Keith Allison


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