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Obama To Augusta: Allow Women

President Barack Obama believes women should be allowed at the all-male Augusta National Golf Club, saying the 80-year-old organization should lose the restriction.

"His personal opinion is that women should be admitted," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Thursday after he spoke to Obama about the issue.

"We are kind of long past the time when women should be excluded from anything," Carney added.

The first round of the Masters tournament kicked off at the Augusta Club in Georgia the same day Carney made his remarks.

Augusta Chairman Billy Payne refused to comment on the organization's refusal to open its membership to women at a press conference Wednesday, after reporters pressed him on the issue, according to Sports Illustrated.

"All issues of membership are now, and have been historically, subject to private deliberations of the members," Payne said at the conference.

The issue gained renewed attention when Virginia Rometty became chief executive of IBM, a top sponsor of the Masters tournament.

Augusta has only allowed male members since its opening in 1933.

by RTT Staff Writer

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