By now, we all know Augusta National Golf Club likes its traditions and stays with rigid rules from the past. One such rule that's garnered major attention in the past is the private club's refusal to admit women into its membership, causing some to slam the home course of The Masters for its chauvinistic ways.
But in the afterglow of Charl Schwartzel's final round charge to win The Masters, the rules of Augusta National took center-stage again, all after a reporter was barred from the locker room. Tara Sullivan, a reporter for The Bergen Record in New Jersey, was unable to join her fellow writers in the locker room for interviews after the final round of the 2011 Masters had concluded, all because of her gender.
Bad enough no women members at Augusta. But not allowing me to join writers in locker room interview is just wrong.
Understandably, Sullivan was unhappy as she was unable to properly do her job after being barred from the locker room. Women in locker rooms has become commonplace in American sports, with many female writers able to cover mainstream sports both in the press box and in the locker room after competition ends. But at Augusta National? Well, that just doesn't fly.
Sullivan said she was able to get the quotes she needed thanks to male colleagues who were happy to share. But at Augusta, where old habits and ways die hard, isn't it time to step into the 21st century and allow female writers the same access as their male counterparts?
The rule likely won't change, and the PGA Tour has no say in the matter -- The Masters Committee controls access and sets the standards. But in this day and age, barring a female reporter from the locker room is absolutely ludicrous. Women should be on the same level as men, and do great work in the sports writing field. Yet on golf's biggest stage, Augusta showed its still living decades behind the rest of the world by preventing a female from doing her job simply because of her gender.