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This Year, It Will Be a Masters Without Martha

Burk led a campaign against Augusta in 2003, but the issue that once threatened to become an inferno has all but fizzled.

March 14, 2004|From Associated Press

Nowadays, any conversation about women and golf is more about the seven females who have competed on men's tours, including 14-year-old Michelle Wie in Hawaii.

With the Masters only a month away, the focus is almost exclusively on golf.

Arnold Palmer is playing in his 50th consecutive Masters. And Vijay Singh is closer to Woods' No. 1 ranking than anyone in the last five years.

The only scrutiny of Woods is that he failed to win a major last year for only the second time. The big controversy is how Love handled a heckler at the Match Play Championship.

The Masters again will go without TV sponsors. Johnson said he liked the commercial-free broadcast so much that he's giving the three sponsors -- Coca-Cola, IBM and Citicorp -- another year off.

Burk sees it differently.

"I don't think it will ever be business as usual again, as long as they continue to discriminate against women," she said. "It's possible some company that doesn't care about its public image -- like Hooters or the Howard Stern radio show -- could be a sponsor. But I don't think any legitimate corporation would do it."

While Burk won't be at the Masters, she says her campaign will not be forgotten.

"I wish we could have had a clear victory down there in regard to the demonstration," she said. "On the other hand, we got our point across. The American people know what this is about now."

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