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Lopez: 'I don't feel like there's discrimination there'

10/6/2002

ALBANY, Ga. -- Nancy Lopez said she doesn't mind Augusta
National's long-standing policy prohibiting women from becoming
members.

''You know, I hate that that has come up because I have always
respected the tradition at Augusta,'' Lopez told the Albany Herald.
''And it was never a tradition of male or female to me, it was
always just tradition.''

Lopez also said she's not fighting for women's membership but
would accept if she were invited to join Augusta, which hosts the
Masters.

Martha Burk, the chairwoman of the National Council of Women's
Organizations, said she's disappointed a female golfer of Lopez's
stature would accept the policy.

''I think that as the most prominent women's golfer of the last
generation, her support for our campaign could go a long way,''
Burk said.

Burk's organization has been lobbying prominent Augusta National
members to convince the club's leadership to change its membership
policy.

Lopez has won 48 tournaments, including three LPGA championships
in 25 years on the tour. She has played Augusta twice with a
member.

''I don't feel women have to go join Augusta because it's really
not a man-woman issue. It's just understood,'' Lopez said. ''I
don't feel like there's discrimination there.''