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Tuesday, 19 November, 2002, 12:17 GMT
Woods plays down Augusta row
Tiger Woods
Woods does not have voting rights at Augusta
Tiger Woods believes that the decision to allow women to join Augusta National Golf Club should be left to the membership.

An editorial in Monday's New York Times suggested Woods should boycott the 2003 US Masters in protest at the club's continuing refusal to admit female members.

But though the world number one has openly admitted that he thinks women should be allowed to join Augusta, he said the issue boiled down to a difference of opinion.

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I have always said there should be women members but it's up to the membership to decide," he said on Tuesday.

"I am just an honorary member so I don't have voting rights. I've stated my opinion in the past but it's definitely a tough issue."

The New York Times suggested that if the Masters took place without the world number one in attendance, it would force the club into reconsidering its stance.

Discrimination

"A tournament without Mr. Woods would send a powerful message that discrimination isn't good for the golfing business," the editorial said.

Augusta National chairman Hootie Johnson is adamant that a woman will not be among the 300 members at Augusta by the start of the Masters in April.

In August, US Masters organisers announced that there would be no commercials in the television coverage for next year's event.

They said they were concerned that firms advertising during the broadcast could become targets for women's groups

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Todd Ant for BBC Sport
"Augusta does not currently allow women"
See also:

18 Nov 02 | Golf
12 Nov 02 | Golf
31 Aug 02 | Golf
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