Rice, Moore are Augusta National’s first 2 female members

Augusta National announced today that Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore were recently admitted as the first two female members in the 80-year history of the club, which has been routinely criticized in recent years for its all-male membership.

Rice [click on link here] is the former Secretary of State under President George W. Bush. She currently teaches at Stanford.

Moore is a partner in the private investment firm Rainwater, Inc. The University of South Carolina’s business school is named after her.

The home of the Masters, under increasing criticism the last decade because of its all-male membership, invited South Carolina financier Darla Moore and former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to become the first women in green jackets when the club opens for a new season in October. (AP Photos)

The home of the Masters, under increasing criticism the last decade because of its all-male membership, invited South Carolina financier Darla Moore and former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to become the first women in green jackets when the club opens for a new season in October. (AP Photos)

“This is a joyous occasion as we enthusiastically welcome Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore as members of Augusta National Golf Club,” Chairman Billy Payne said in a press …

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Cantlay low amateur at Masters

A poor first nine in the last round of the Masters cost Hideki Matsuyama a chance at defending his low-amateur title on Sunday.

Patrick Cantlay, who trailed Matsuyama by six shots before the fourth round, shot an even-par 72 to finish the tournament 7 over par and win the Silver Cup given to the low amateur.

Matsuyama unexpectedly shot a 42 on the front nine – four shots higher than his worst nine during the week — on his way to an 8-over par 80. He finished 9 over par.

Kelly Kraft, the only other amateur to make the cut, shot an 80 to finish the tournament 18 over. He is turning pro on Monday.

Cantlay, a student at UCLA, bounced back from a nine on the par-5 No. 13 with an eagle on 15, and birdies on 16 and 17.

“Obviously there was an up-and-down round out there,” Cantlay said. “I had a bunch of highs and lows. But 72 is not too bad.”

– Doug Roberson, AJC

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Oosthuizen gives away souvenir after rare double-eagle

AUGUSTA — Louis Oosthuizen made Masters history Sunday – but he won’t have a souvenir of his rare feat.

After Oosthuizen had a double-eagle 2 on the par-5 second hole Sunday, he collected the ball and tossed it into the crowd of cheering spectators.

Wayne Mitchell might want to buy a lottery ticket. But for now he may have something as valuable. Oosthuizen made only the fourth albatross in Masters history and the first at No. 2.

“Frankly, I wasn’t even thinking about it,” said Mitchell of his thoughts when the ball was en route. “I’m not a souvenir chaser. It was just one of those moments. The ball came at me and I put my hand out and as I was catching it, I thought the worse thing I can do now is drop it. I could feel there were 100 people behind me that might actually want it.”

The shot moved Oosthuizen from 7 to 10 under par and he grabbed the lead in the final round. His drive landed on the left side of the fairway. His 4-iron approach from 253 yards,  …

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Van Pelt has hole-in-one and just misses a double-eagle

Bo Van Pelt was a few inches away from doing something never before done at the Masters: a double-eagle and a hole-in-one by the same player. They were part of a back-nine 30 and final round 8-under-par 64 on Sunday.

His 6-iron on No. 16, a 170-yard par-3, flew past the flag to the right and trickled back around the slope for a hole-in-one. It was the 22nd ace in tournament history and 14th on No. 16. It was the seventh hole-in-one of Van Pelt’s career and fifth in a competitive tournament.

“My 5-year-old asked me the other day if I had ever made a hole in one and I said yes and he said you haven’t had one in quite a while, so it’s neat that now I’ll get to tell him about this,” he said.

His wife, Carrie, and 10-year-old daughter, Olivia, were standing near the green and saw the hole-in-one.

It wasn’t Van Pelt’s only highlight.

He hit a choked-down 5-iron from 198 yards on his second shot at No. 13. He thought it was going in.

“I’ve never made a …

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Garcia questions his major championship career

AUGUSTA — Sergio Garcia had light moments despite his third-round score of 75 that played him out of contention at the Masters Saturday. His hug of playing partner Rory McIlroy, when both birdied No. 12, was captured by television cameras and shown worldwide.

However, Garcia’s mood darkened following the disappointing round that dropped him eight strokes behind leader Peter Hanson. In an interview with Spanish reporters, Garcia questioned his career at golf’s major championships, including the Masters.

“I’m not good enough,” Garcia was quoted as saying. “… I don’t have the thing I need to have. In 13 years, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to play for second or third place.”

When asked if he was referring to the Masters, Garcia said “In any major.”

Garcia has never won a major championship. His best finish at the Masters was a tie for fourth in 2004. In the next seven Masters, his best finish has been a tie for 38th, including three …

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Mahan in position to win Masters

AUGUSTA — Perhaps winning the Masters will be the tonic to make people forget about Hunter Mahan’s performance in the Ryder Cup.

Starting at par, Mahan shot 4 under in Saturday’s third round and trails the leader by five strokes.

It was another good round in what has already been an amazing season for Mahan. He’s the only player on the PGA Tour this year with two wins, including a victory at last week’s Shell Houston Open. He could become the first person since Phil Mickelson to win the Masters a week after winning a PGA Tour event.

Taking from his Ryder Cup experience, he doesn’t seem to be putting too much pressure on himself, which may be the key to his results.

“I don’t want a bad round to determine my happiness,” he said.” I don’t want a bad chip to ruin my day.”

He laughed at the chip remark, a reference to a chunked shot he hit in the deciding match of the 2010 Ryder Cup. Mahan was 2-down to Graeme McDowell standing at No. 17 at Celtic Manor with …

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Cink continues to struggle with swing

AUGUSTA — There was a group hug waiting for Stewart Cink after he finished the third round of the Masters Saturday. A 9 over par 81 left him at plus-11 for the tournament.

“It feels like the end of the world for me out there sometimes because it means so much to me and playing a bad round like that you want to bury your head in the sand,” said Cink, who was greeted by his wife Lisa, sons Connor and Reagan and the head professional from East Lake Golf Club Chad Parker. “But when you get back in and can see the kids and everything outside the ropes is healthy and well, that turned everything around.”

Cink, the Georgia Tech alum, fell to second to last on the leaderboard. He hit just 8 of 18 greens in regulation Saturday after hitting 30 of 36 in the first two rounds. He said he is still struggling with a swing change and it got away from him in the third round. He was first in the field in GIR in the first round and tied for sixth in the second. Putting has been an issue …

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Marker has a lot of fun in Masters

AUGUSTA — Jeff Knox hopes to one day play in the Masters as a competitor.

He got to do something almost as special on Saturday when he played as a mark with Kelly Kraft in the day’s first group.

“It’s the next best thing to playing in the tournament,” Knox, 49, said. “That’s my ultimate goal. I’m running out of time to do that. This isn’t a bad second. It’s a lot of fun.”

A mark is a non-competitive player that can be used when the tournament has an odd number of players in the field. Knox, a member of Augusta National, said he has played as a mark nine times. He has previously been paired with Craig Stadler twice, Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia, Sandy Lyle, Miguel Angel Jimenez, K.T. Kim and Ernie Els.

Knox knows Augusta National well, setting the course record with an 11-under 61 from the member’s tees in 2003. Knox, executive director of the Knox Foundation, also won the Georgia Mid-Amateur in 2008 and ’09.

He shot a 75 on Saturday with bogeys on 1, 7, 12, …

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‘General Lee’ won’t be sitting in Watson’s garage

AUGUSTA — Some who collect automobiles keep them in garage. Not Bubba Watson.

Watson recently bought the 1969 Dodge Charger, nicknamed the General Lee, which appeared in the television show ‘The Dukes of Hazzard.’ Price tag: $110,000.

“I drive it,” Watson said from the Masters when asked what he does with the car. “Why wouldn’t you drive it? I bought a car. You don’t just sit a car do you? Well, some people do.”

The orange-painted Charger, decorated with the number 01 on the side, appeared on the CBS show from 1979 to 1985.

“I said if I ever won a golf tournament I’m going to buy one or get one made like it,” said Watson, the UGA graduate. “This year, No. 1 came available. It was supposed to go a lot higher in price, and I had a limit and I was at my limit already, but I ended up getting it some how.”

Watson said most of the gauges on the car do not work and the odometer is stuck on 86 miles. It is currently being fully restored.

“It’s going to be …

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Golfers and Twitter a successful mix

There are no ropes to separate fans from their favorite golfers in cyberspace.

More than 200 professional golfers, from the seldom-recognized Nationwide Tour guys to 76-year-old Gary Player (@garyplayer) use Twitter to interact with fans. The tip of the cap or wave on the course has been replaced by a 140 character recap of whatever is going on in their lives.

Twitter is not being exclusively used, as some might assume, as a medium to thank sponsors or promote equipment, though there is some of that. Some messages are joyous and personal. Bubba Watson (@bubbawatson) and his wife Angie (@angieb1433) tweeted the news that they had adopted a baby last week.

Sometimes the players will break news that affects tournaments.

When it was announced in the Masters media room earlier this week that Dustin Johnson had withdrawn, media were told to contact his representative to know why.

It wasn’t necessary.

A few minutes later, Johnson (DJohnsonPGA) tweeted, “First I have …

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