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Tiger's Stance on Augusta Gets Support

November 30, 2002|Thomas Bonk | Times Staff Writer

INDIO, Calif. — Tiger Woods says he still thinks Augusta National should admit a woman and says he still has no vote on the issue, but is thankful for the support he has received after a recent New York Times editorial called on him to boycott the 2003 Masters.

"My opinion is my opinion and it won't change one bit," Woods said Friday. "We're certainly going to be asked a lot about it, no question about it. And any support I've been given, I certainly appreciate that."

After the newspaper suggested that Woods ought to sit out the next Masters to lead a protest, the Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke out and said it was wrong to single out Woods.

This week, columnist Joan Ryan of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that Woods was puzzled by how admitting a privileged woman to an exclusive men's club would be a meaningful cause for women's groups.

Anna Quindlen, a columnist at Newsweek, was even stronger in her analysis of the controversy.

"This is a dispute so absurd it scarcely seems worth arguing," Quindlen wrote.

"Tiger Woods signed on for the game of golf. It would be lovely if he used the bully pulpit of athletic celebrity to address inequalities in a way that vanquished them. But he is not obliged to do so, not by his vocation and certainly not by his race."

Melana Zyla Vickers, senior fellow at the Independent Women's Forum, also found the controversy lacking substance.

"There is absolutely no economic or social harm that has befallen women due to Augusta National's choice to remain an all-male club," Vickers said in a written statement.

Mark O'Meara joked that he hoped Woods would skip the Masters so someone else might have a chance to win. Woods has won the Masters the last two years, three times in all.

"It's been great to hear support from different people," Woods said. "For a while there, I was the only person they even wanted answers from, the only person focused on and the only person expected to do a lot of different things."

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