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Monday, October 20, 2014

Tara Sullivan Denied Access to Locker Room at Masters, Augusta Apologizes

On a day that Charl Schwartzel stole the show at the Masters and Rory McIlroy had a historic collapse, the outdated set of gender rules at Augusta National managed to take over golf headlines.

Tara Sullivan, a columnist for The Bergen Record of New Jersey, changed the conversation when she tweeted that she wasn’t allowed in the locker room for an interview. “Bad enough no women members at Augusta. But not allowing me to join writers in locker room interview is just wrong,” she wrote.

The tweet quickly spread throughout the twitterverse and turned into an Associated Press story.

It was no matter that the officials at Augusta apologized for the mistake as soon as they heard about the problem. It was no matter that they paged Sullivan to address the matter immediately.

As soon as her tweet spread throughout the media, the damage had already been done.

What’s most interesting about the story is that it was actually a female security guard who stopped Sullivan to say she wasn’t allowed in the locker room. The security guard was persistent with the policy according to Sullivan, and it sure seems like she was mistaken with her rules. But if the Masters is so biased as gender biased club, wouldn’t it have been a male security guard denying Sullivan access? I would think so, and this just further confirms it was a mistake.

I just hope people don’t use this story as an excuse to explore Augusta National’s male-only membership policy. As a club, they have the right to restrict membership to males, just as female clubs can do the same. Take this for what it was — a mistake, and nothing more. Too bad Charl Schwartzel’s win will likely be overshadowed because of it.



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