LPGA stars pumped about Augusta

A spectator walks past the clubhouse during a practice round for the 2010 Masters golf tournament...

A spectator walks past the clubhouse during a practice round for the 2010 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia in this file photo taken April 7, 2010. (Reuters/BRIAN SNYDER/Files)

TODD SAELHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:35 AM ET

COQUITLAM, B.C. - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice can expect a phone call from at least one LPGA Tour star in the future.

For that matter, so, too, can South Carolina financier Darla Moore.

"I've never played Augusta," said Brittany Lincicome, one of the top women golfers on the planet, with a telling smile. "Soooo, if any of those nice ladies want to invite me out to play, that would be amazing.

"I'm so jealous."

Michelle Wie took the news of Augusta National -- the proud host of the world's greatest golf event, the Masters -- finally opening its doors to women (the first ones being Rice and Moore) one step further.

"Playing in a Masters has always been a dream of mine," said Wie, who's already played in a couple of PGA Tour events. "You've got to dream big -- you never know. But it will always be a dream of mine."

Wie is serious.

But then again, the news is serious stuff.

Word spread with excitement among LPGA stars Monday of the historic announcement -- certainly a giant step forward out of the dark ages for Augusta's old boys' club.

"Yeah, that was incredible," Lincicome said. "We talked about it (Monday). I was watching my Twitter, and I had just woken up in the morning, and I was going through it. I was like, 'Wow, is that right?' I'm reading more and more an more, and I was like, 'Oh, my gosh!

"It shows how much the world is changing and evolving. It doesn't matter if you're the CEO of another company -- it empowers women. It's not a man's world as much anymore. And it doesn't have to be about golf. It's really cool to see that it's kind of in my era that I was a part of this.

"I think it's amazing. I think it's awesome."

Truly, it's long overdue, almost laughable at how it's being hailed a step in the right direction for equality.

Wasn't this an issue that should have been resolved 50 years ago? How about 80 years ago when the Georgia club first opened?

To laud such a decision as significant at this point seems to be giving Augusta National some sort of proper due.

Boooo to that!

Of course, Augusta won't be the last course to break from its caveman ways. Others are still stuck -- as women's rights activist Martha Burk hinted at -- in the 19th century.

But good on the world's top women golfers for embracing the news rather than scoffing at it. They could otherwise see it as demeaning, given how long it's taken to get their clubs in the door.

"I think it's a historic day," said the tour's top player, Yani Tseng. "I just feel very happy that they finally have let in ladies as members. I'm looking forward to going and playing there, if I can. I've never played there, so I think it's very interesting."

That it is.

"I think it's very cool," echoed Wie. "I would love to play the golf course one time.

"(Being a student at Stanford University), I did see (business professor) Condoleezza Rice a lot. I played a round of golf with her, by accident, when she was in Hawaii."

Perhaps there's another round or two in Wie's future with Rice at Augusta "¦ now that it's finally caught up with the rest of the world.

todd.saelhof@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNToddSaelhof


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