President Obama thinks women competitors have as much right to tee off at Augusta as men do, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Thursday.
As the action started in the Masters golf tournament, Obama chimed in on controversy surrounding women being allowed to become members of the all-male Augusta National golf club.
During the White House press briefing, Carney said the president’s “personal opinion is that women should be admitted” as members to the golf club, according to the Associated Press. Although Carney said it was “up to the club to decide,” he said Obama thinks women should be allowed membership.
“We're kind of long past the time when women should be excluded from anything,” Carney said, according to the AP.
The controversy surrounding the club’s membership came full force after longtime Masters sponsor IBM announced its new CEO would be Ginni Rometty. She, however, has said that IBM will continue its sponsorship.
When pressed on the issue on Wednesday, Augusta National Chairman Billy Payne punted and refused to answer why women were not allowed membership, reports the AP.
“As has been the case whenever that question is asked, all issues of membership have been and are subject to private deliberations of the members,” he said.
The Masters, which started on Thursday, runs through the weekend until the Green Jacket is awarded to the winner on Sunday.