Doug Ferguson of AP breaks the news on Twitter and with an AP story that earned "news alert" status. It's a story we should have read about, oh, a decade ago. But better late than never!
Even better, chairman Billy Payne, who does not talk about issues related to members, wisely chose to do so by calling this a "joyous occasion."
"These accomplished women share our passion for the game of golf and both are well known and respected by our membership," Payne said in a statement. "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."
Darla Dee Moore (born August 1, 1954, Lake City, South Carolina) is a partner of the private investment firm Rainwater, Inc, and is married to Richard Rainwater, who founded the firm.
She is a pioneering woman in the banking industry and a benefactor to many institutions in her home state of South Carolina.
Apparently Darla is not a fan of T. Boone Pickens.
But Hootie, she's big in South Carolina! And she's a big Republican! I know, I know, it's hard but Hootie, just give it time. She won't give you cooties, I promise!
Condoleezza Rice (kɒndəˈliːzə/; born November 14, 1954) is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, and was the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush. Rice was the first female African-American secretary of state, as well as the second African American (after Colin Powell), and the second woman (after Madeleine Albright). Rice was President Bush's National Security Advisor during his first term, making her the first woman to serve in that position. Before joining the Bush administration, she was a professor of political science at Stanford University where she served as Provost from 1993 to 1999. Rice also served on the National Security Council as the Soviet and East European Affairs Advisor to President George H.W. Bush during the dissolution of the Soviet Union and German reunification.
**The club's press release:
August 20, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Billy Payne, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, confirmed today that Secretary Condoleezza Rice, of Stanford, Calif., and Darla Moore, of Lake City, S.C., are new members of Augusta National Golf Club.
Payne offered the following statement on behalf of the Club:
“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.”
**A CNN story includes statements from the two new members.
"I have long admired the important role Augusta National has played in the traditions and history of golf," Rice said in a statement. "I also have an immense respect for the Masters tournament and its commitment to grow the game of golf, particularly with youth, here in the United States and throughout the world."
Moore is the vice president of Rainwater Inc., the investment firm founded by her husband, Richard Rainwater. Fortunate magazine once named her among the top 50 women in business, and the University of South Carolina's business school is named in her honor.
I am honored to have accepted an invitation to join Augusta National Golf Club. Augusta National has always captured my imagination, and is one of the most magically beautiful places anywhere in the world, as everyone gets to see during the Masters each April," Moore said in a statement. "I am fortunate to have many friends who are members at Augusta National, so to be asked to join them as a member represents a very happy and important occasion in my life. Above all, Augusta National and the Masters Tournament have always stood for excellence, and that is what is so important to me. I am extremely grateful for this privilege."