ATLANTA -- Ten of the 30 players in the Tour Championship
said Augusta National should offer membership to a woman, although
no one who responded to a newspaper survey said he would boycott
the Masters if the club remains all-male in April.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution polled the field this week at
the Tour Championship, where all 30 players have qualified for the
In an interview with The Associated Press earlier this week,
Toms said he would play no matter what the status was at Augusta,
which has come under attack by the National Council of Women's
Organizations for not having a female member.
"I want to win that tournament as bad as any tournament in the
whole world,'' Toms said.
On the question of female membership, five players said the
decision was up to the club, while Len Mattiace was the only one
who said no. Fourteen players declined comment on that question.
Players were divided when asked if golfers have an obligation to
speak out on the issue. Of the 14 who responded, five of them --
including Tiger Woods -- said yes.
Jeff Sluman was among those who said no.
"Our opinion doesn't in a lot of respects matter as much as
general lay people,'' he said.
The newspaper also asked players if they thought a major sports
event was an appropriate venue to address social issues.
Mattiace was the only "yes'' answer, while 12 players said no,
and the other 17 either did not answer or declined comment.
Charles Howell III had the most peculiar answers. Asked if a
female member should be asked to join Augusta, his answer was "no
comment.'' Asked if golfers should have an obligation to speak out
on the issue, Howell said yes.
Chris DiMarco was an easy target for the Georgia
fans at East Lake during the third round of the Tour Championship.
It's bad enough that the Florida alum has a gator headcover.
DiMarco also egged on the crowd by wearing an orange-and-blue shirt
on the day of the heated Florida-Georgia football game in
DiMarco had a 69 and was six strokes out of the lead. As he
walked off the 18th green following his par, he did the Gator chomp
and was booed.
"There was a lot of heckling going on all day,'' Singh said.
"He brought it on himself with that outfit he had on. He gave it
back to them at the end, though.''
Singh, from Fiji, said he has never watched a college football
"My caddie is a big Gator fan, and DiMarco obviously is,''
Singh said. "It doesn't really entice me much.''
The Tour Championship tends to bring out
the best in Vijay Singh, who has never finished lower than 10th in
his last seven appearances.
For a man who already has won two majors, does it really matter?
"I'd just like to win again,'' Singh said. "I have a good
record over here without winning. I'd like to end the season with a
great win, and start off next year with a good feeling.''
Singh already has won this year at Houston.<
Hot under the collar
Tiger Woods had a 67, a good round at
East Lake except for the way it finished -- bogeys on two of his
last three holes.
How will he try to put the ending behind him?
"I'll probably go trash a few things,'' Woods said with a
As he walked to his next interview, he slammed his foot into a
"I'm just a little hot at myself,'' he said.
Singh has failed to win the last two times at East
Lake when he had at least a share of the lead going into the last
round. His overall record when leading after 54 holes is 4-7. ...
Robert Allenby had a 66. After starting the Tour Championship with
a 74 for last place, he has followed with rounds of 69-66 and is
tied for 10th. ... The two Spaniards are not faring well. Jose Maria Olazabal (71) and Sergio Garcia (72) were at 6-over 216. Only Loren Roberts (77) at 219 was worse. ... Billy Ray Brown is working
as a reporter for ABC Sports and was walking with Tiger Woods'
group when Woods saved par by hitting left-handed out of the
leaves, then sticking a wedge into 2 feet. "This is why I got out
of the game,'' said Brown, who lost to Woods in the 1999 Buick