Monday’s news that Augusta National had invited two women to join the formerly all-male enclave had LPGA golfers yearning to tee it up at the vaunted home of the Masters. Though Augusta’s new membership policies will have no direct impact on the women’s tour, Brittany Lincicome, in British Columbia this week to defend her Canadian Women’s Open title, hoped to take advantage of the club’s more women-friendly atmosphere.
“I’m so jealous, I’ve never played Augusta,” Lincicome told reporters Tuesday about her reaction to reading that Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore will don green jackets when Augusta opens for the season in the fall. “So if any of those nice ladies want to invite me out to play, that would be amazing.”
The five-time tour winner lauded Augusta’s decision to strike down the gender barrier and was excited that she had the opportunity to witness such an “awesome” development.
“It's great, not only for women's golf,” she said. “It shows how much the world is changing and evolving. ... It empowers women. It's not a man's world as much anymore.”
Many of her colleagues agreed -- not only with her assessment of how the new practice would benefit women and golf, but about her desire to stalk the storied track.
“I would love to play the golf course one time,” said Michelle Wie, the 2010 Canadian Women’s Open champion. “I think it's great that they're allowing female members now.”
Wie, a recent graduate of Stanford, where Rice teaches, had the chance to play a round of golf with the former Secretary of State and new Masters member.
“She’s a big sports activist,” said Wie, who described her own 2012 season as her “toughest” to date, but had her best finish of the year (T8) at last week’s Safeway Classic.
“I definitely have gained a lot of confidence from last week which I'm definitely going to carry over to this week,” Wie said. “Just being consistent, going through every day and being comfortable out there and being confident in what I'm doing and being aggressive -- that's really just what I'm focusing on this week.”
The 72-hole tourney starts on Thursday at the Vancouver Golf Club in Coquitlam.