Tim Polzer
Monday August 20th, 2012

Condoleezza Rice is one of Augusta National's first female members. (Stan Badz/Getty Images)

Augusta National Golf Club Chairman Billy Payne announced Monday the club will admit its first female members: former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and business executive Darla Moore.

The news was first reported by the Associated Press. The USA Today has more details.

After three quarters of a century, women will be included on the membership rolls of Augusta National Golf Club, one of the most exclusive clubs in the world and the host of the Masters.

"This is a joyous occasion as we enthusiastically welcome Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore as members of Augusta National Golf Club," Payne said in a statement. "We are fortunate to consider many qualified candidates for membership at Augusta National. Consideration with regard to any candidate is deliberate, held in strict confidence and always takes place over an extended period of time. The process for Condoleezza and Darla was no different.

"These accomplished women share our passion for the game of golf and both are well known and respected by our membership. It will be a proud moment when we present Condoleezza and Darla their Green Jackets when the Club opens this fall.

"This is a significant and positive time in our Club's history and, on behalf of our membership, I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome them and all of our new members into the Augusta National family." Rice, who served as secretary of state under George W. Bush, said in a statement she feels very fortunate to have "this opportunity to grow my love for this great game."

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