First Women’s Amateur Sends Welcome Ripples Through Masters | 4/6/2019 | Staff
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (Reuters) – More than a week since Jennifer Kupcho hoisted the trophy as the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur winner, the impact of that moment, once unthinkable to the club’s old male guard, still reverberated through the hallowed home of the Masters.

“A few guys would turn in their grave because a lot of them stood up in front of these guys and said, ‘I will never allow a woman to be a member’,” recalled the three-times Masters champion Gary Player.

“So they will be watching that, from wherever they are.”

For years, controversy swirled around the club over its long-standing tradition of not admitting women as members, drawing outrage from women’s groups as its leadership remained adamantly opposed to permitting a female presence until 2012.

Women - Amateur - Championship - Breakthrough - Augusta

The inaugural Women’s Amateur championship marked another major breakthrough at Augusta National, with its long-standing reputation as a haven for rich, white, well-connected men.

For advocates of women’s sports, it was more than just a welcome addition to Masters week.

Needle - Women - Sports - Foundation - CEO

“I think that what’s so important is it’s just moving the needle,” said Women’s Sports Foundation CEO Deborah Antoine. “The pride of going down Magnolia Lane and standing where legends have stood and for the first time making this about women.”

On the third day of the men’s competition on Saturday, Masters patrons said they welcomed the change and noticed a shift in gender balance among the crowd at Augusta National, even days after the women’s competition had ended.

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