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Billy Payne non-comittal over women’s membership at Augusta after being peppered with questions (Video)

It’s that time of the year again: when the golf world descends upon Augusta for the Masters and the “Will Augusta National ever admit a female member?” debate comes to the forefront. The issue is of particular interest this year with Virginia Rometty taking over IBM as president and CEO in January. The previous four IBM heads — all male — have been extended invitations to join the club.

So when Augusta National chairman Billy Payne took the podium at his annual news conference on Wednesday, it was inevitable for the topic to be addressed. And when that question finally came, Payne delivered an elaborate answer:

“As has been the case whenever that question is asked, all issues of membership are now and have been historically subject to the private deliberations of the members. That statement remains accurate and that remains my statement.”

A simple “no comment” would have been fine, but okay.

That wasn’t it, though. As you see in the above video, Payne’s non-commitment to admitting a female member seemed to open the floodgates for other reporters to pressure him. [Read more...]