Posted Monday, Aug. 20, 2012, at 11:37 AM
Augusta National Golf Club announced Monday that it will admit its first ever female members later this year
Photo by Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images.
And the first two female members of Augusta National Golf Club are ... former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore.
The two women will formally don the club's famous green jackets in October, when it opens its new season, and the two will become the first women to be admitted to the club in its 80-year history.
The invitations end roughly a decade of controversy that has surrounded the Masters-hosting club since its former chairman, Hootie Johnson, began vocally defending its all-male membership in the face of complaints.
Here's the full announcement from the club's chairman, Billy Payne:
"This is a joyous occasion as we enthusiastically welcome Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore as members of Augusta National Golf Club.
"We are fortunate to consider many qualified candidates for membership at Augusta National. Consideration with regard to any candidate is deliberate, held in strict confidence and always takes place over an extended period of time. The process for Condoleezza and Darla was no different.
"These accomplished women share our passion for the game of golf and both are well known and respected by our membership. It will be a proud moment when we present Condoleezza and Darla their Green Jackets when the Club opens this fall.
"This is a significant and positive time in our Club’s history and, on behalf of our membership, I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome them and all of our new members into the Augusta National family."