Tag Archive | "augusta national"

Gainey Aims for a Back-to-Back Win

Tommy GaineyWith just three weeks after winning his first PGA Tour, Tommy Gainey is working for a back-to-back win in the Children’s Miracle Network Classic to be held at Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Gainey, who is popular with his unconventional swings, scored a 7-under-par 65, closing the first round with a lag of one hit. Two of the final three holes were birdied by the American golfer, finishing the round in tie with Camilo Villegas of Colombia and one-shot away from the leading South Korean golfer, Charlie Wi.

The sensation created by Gainey in the golf world last month is still afresh. Golf enthusiasts can still recall how he closed the McGladrey Classic with a score of 10-under-par 60.

Gainey was happy to start even a windy day in Lake Buena Vista. “It’s playing kind of tough out there. The wind’s blowing 10 to 15 mph steady, gusting up to 20 at different times, and when you catch that gust on the wrong side, you can make some bogeys pretty fast. I’ve got off to a great start, so I gotta focus on maybe trying to win another tournament this week. It’s all about winning again for me, because my goal has not been achieved yet,” he told the reporters after the round.

The 37-year-old golfer has a definite goal. He is working to be in the top 30 of the PGA Tour’s money list and to be able to play at the Augusta National by next year. “When I’m playing at Augusta, that means I’m also playing in the other majors, so that’s my goal,” he said. Gainey is currently at number 56 in the money list. “I’m just trying to play my game and just go from there,” he concluded.

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Two New Females for Augusta National

Augusta National welcomes its two new female members for the first time. This is first in the club’s long history since it was established in 1933. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore join the club and are expected to sport green jackets for the next Masters.

The club’s chairman Billy Payne said in a press release, “This is a joyous occasion as we enthusiastically welcome Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore as members of Augusta National Golf Club.”

The decision came out after pressures and criticisms from different groups flooded the club. An incident also occurred where Martha Burke from the National Council of Women’s Organizations openly expressed condemnation to former Augusta chairman Hootie Johnson and his decision to keep the club exclusive for male members. The club didn’t waver and stood by their decision to keep its membership as it was.

The issue was again revived at the State of the Masters press conference where several of the press people asked the chairman to verify the rumor that IBM CEO Virginia Rometty will be accepted as a member. Augusta didn’t necessarily gave in to what non-members have to say but we can somehow feel that the pressures wore the club down thus coming up with a decision to end the 10-year long debate with not just one but two new female members.

Both Rice and Moore are passionate golfers and fit the club perfectly. Just as what Payne noted in his speech, welcoming the two is indeed a joyous occasion for Augusta National.

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Here’s How Augusta National Could Make an Eloquent Statement

The Augusta National Golf Club does not accept female members. This point was recently affirmed by Billy Payne, the club’s current chairman. It may not be an officially documented stand, but it is the way things are. True, women golfers have been allowed to play as guests. However, the issue of excluding women as members continues to create controversy.

The stand of Augusta National is that they can admit whoever they want, since the club is private. This position has stirred a lot of criticism within and outside the world of golf. The club’s detractors believe that it is not right to exclude women as members because the club hosts and profits from many public events.

The clamor reached its peak when Sophie Gustafson came into the limelight. Sophie is a 38-year-old professional golfer who is a three-time Player of the Year in the European Women’s Tour. She has a total of 5 LPGA titles and 26 total pro titles. She also led Europe to a 4-0 victory over the U.S. at the recent Solheim Cup.

During the Golf Writers Association of America award ceremony, Sophie played a recorded message instead of giving a traditional acceptance speech. You see, Sophie stutters badly and avoids public speeches. The message she recorded was more than 6 minutes long. But according to the New York Times, it took Sophie 8 hours to record it, due to her stuttering.

In contrast, after winning the LPGA Chick-Fil-A event in 2000, Sophie simply said “Thank you” into the microphone. It was her mentor, Nancy Lopez, who read the message she wrote prior to the ceremony.

Sophie’s recorded message was indeed inspirational. “Children who stutter should aim to do anything they want, but I would advise against phone sales.” she said, displaying her sense of humor. At the end of her recorded message, the crowd gave her a standing ovation.

Considering the example Sophie Gustafson sets, here’s a suggestion for the Augusta National Golf Club and for Billy Payne. Why not make Sophie Gustafson the first female member?

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