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August 21, 2012

Top pros react to news from Augusta National

Reaction from some of golf's biggest names to the news that Augusta National will admit its first female members.

Tiger Woods: "I think the decision by the Augusta National membership is important to golf...The Club continues to demonstrate its commitment to impacting the game in positive ways. I would like to congratulate both new members, especially my friend Condi Rice." (Via AP)

Annika Sorenstam: "I was delighted to hear the news this morning that Augusta National has allowed two female members into their club. The women invited, Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore are highly respected women and business leaders. They will be great representatives for women in the game. I always felt that Augusta would eventually allow select female members. They are obviously a private club and I figured they would do it when they felt the timing was right and I am glad that day is here. Amazing things on the horizon for the game I love so much...Today is a historic day." (Via AnnikaSorenstam.com)

Tim Finchem, commissioner of the PGA Tour: "At a time when women represent one of the fastest growing segments in both playing and following the game of golf, this sends a positive and inclusive message for our sport." (Via AP)

Jack Nicklaus: "Everyone at Augusta National shares a similar passion for the game of golf, and I know they will be great additions to the club." (Via AP)

Bubba Watson: "You know, it was funny, I got a text from my manager, Jens Beck, right before I got on the plane to fly up here, so I told my wife, and so we were flying up here, and my wife said, "Do you think it'll be me? Do you think they'll announce me as a member?" So it was funny. We landed, she actually said, I'm not sure I'll say her name correctly, Condoleezza Rice, she said she thought she might be-- we knew there was going to be two. We got the text or the call from my manager that there was going to be two ladies, and so yeah, my wife joked she wanted to be one of those ladies, but obviously she didn't make the cut. Maybe she's the third lady."

"But no, it was good to see. It's always in their time. They want to do it the right way, they want to get the right membership in there what they're looking for, and obviously it's great. It's great for golf, it's great for the game." (Via ASAP Sports)

Zach Johnson:"They've got their decision, their decision making and what they want, and they'll do it when the timing is right. In my opinion, or based on what I've read and what I've seen, the timing is right to have a couple women members so far and hats off to them. If that's their prerogative and that's the direction they want to go, that's fantastic. I don't know the specifics. I know this time of year is when they start inviting new members, so I know there's a longer list than just two women...Knowing some of the members there, they're always very gracious to have new members come in, and I don't foresee that being any different. It seems like Chairman Payne is a guy -- well, I think he's great. I think he certainly has always had a pretty open mind about things, and that's why you've seen some tweaks and changes at Augusta and the Masters. Yeah, I think it's fantastic."(Via ASAP Sports)

Sergio Garcia: "It's great. I mean I'm not a member so I don't have any say on that. That's great. I hope they enjoy it and plays as many times as they can and enjoy the course." (Via ASAP Sports)

Tim Clark: "I think it's great. It's a sign of the times and Augusta is a top notch club. Obviously about time and it's a place I love and love going to. It's nice to see them make that move." (Via ASAP Sports)

Carl Pettersson: "It's probably good but, you know, it's a private club. They could do whatever they want. But it's probably about time, yeah. Probably good." (Via ASAP Sports)

Gary Player: "Great news. Augusta National admits its first female members in 80 years: Condoleezza Rice & Darla Moore." (Via Twitter @garyplayer)

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