The Masters golf tournament, which is being played this weekend, has been praised as "a tradition unlike any other," but there is one tradition many would like to see go. The Augusta National Golf Club, the Georgia golf course where the Masters takes place, does not offer its invitation-only memberships to women. Controversy around this issue has swelled before, and the call for Augusta to admit women bubbled up again because of Virginia Rometty's becoming CEO of IBM, a corporate sponsor of the golf tournament. The previous four IBM CEOs, all male, were members of Augusta. (The club does not release its membership roster, however a list was leaked by USA Today in 2002). Many leading figures, including President Obama and his presumed 2012 rival, former Gov. Mitt Romney, would like to see women admitted to the club, and according to U.S. News contributing editor Mary Kate Cary, Rometty presents Augusta National the perfect opportunity to do so:
It's a win-win for everyone: Admitting a woman would be great for the Augusta and Masters brands—and good for women's golf overall—and it would allow the IBM board of directors to continue their corporate sponsorship and stand behind their new CEO as an equal to her predecessors.
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