MIYAZAKI, Japan -- Tiger Woods hasn't changed his mind about playing at the all-male Augusta National Golf Club despite a New York Times editorial calling on him to skip the Masters.
"As I've said before, everyone is entitled to their own opinion," Woods said Tuesday. He is in Japan for this week's Dunlop Phoenix tournament.
"I think there should be women members," Woods said. "But it's not up to me. I don't have voting rights, I'm just an honorary member."
The editorial, published Monday, suggested that Woods not play at the Masters next year because of Augusta's all-male membership.
"A tournament without Mr. Woods would send a powerful message that discrimination isn't good for the golfing business," the editorial said.
Augusta National declined comment.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson, who says his Rainbow/PUSH Coalition will organize protests at the Masters if a woman is not a member by April, called the Times editorial "unfair and inconsistent" for singling out Woods.
"I don't remember them saying to Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus to boycott the Masters because blacks are not playing," Jackson said Tuesday.
Lee Elder became the first black to play the Masters, in 1975.
Still, Jackson said he would encourage Woods to take a stronger stand.
"He's much too intelligent and too much a beneficiary of our struggles to be neutral," Jackson said. "His point of view does matter. I think right now his challenge would be to the PGA Tour, to the golfers, to the (Augusta National) board of directors, to all speak together."
In interviews this month, Augusta National chairman Hootie Johnson was adamant that a woman would not be among the 300 members at Augusta by the start of the Masters in April.
Johnson's comments were the first on the subject since he criticized Martha Burk and the National Council of Women's Organizations for trying to coerce change at the golf course.
The Times said that if Augusta National "can brazenly discriminate against women, that means others can choose not to support Mr. Johnson's golfing fraternity. That includes more enlightened members of the club, CBS Sports, which televises the Masters, and the players, especially Tiger Woods."
© 2018. All Rights Reserved. | Contact Us