Augusta National Golf CourseLike every other reporter out at Augusta National Golf Club for the 2011 Masters Golf Tournament this weekend, sports columnist Tara Sullivan of The Bergen Record (N.J.) was just trying to do her job -- and get the details for her Masters golf story so she could make her deadline. Specifically, Sullivan was on her way into the locker room to interview the third-round leader Rory McIlroy when she was stopped by security guards.
Why was Sullivan stopped but not the rest of the group of reporters? Well, because she's a woman, of course. Huh? That's right. It may sound rather medieval to us, but Augusta National Golf Club has no female members on a regular day, so this old school "no girls allowed" enforcement is just, well, everyday business.
Sullivan tweeted tonight about what's now being deemed a misunderstanding:
Bad enough no women members at Augusta. But not allowing me to join writers in locker room interview is just wrong.
She went on to tweet that Steve Ethun of the Masters Media Committee called it a "complete misunderstanding by the tournament week security." In other words, those security guards were so well trained about the Club's woman-free tradition that they didn't even stop to consider the exceptions and standard practices of major sporting events. Whoops.
Luckily for Sullivan, Bill Plaschke, columnist for the L.A. Times, gave her quotes from the interview right away, and John Romano of the St. Petersburg Times emailed her a full transcription. Phew! This, no doubt, helped Sullivan get a move on her deadline. Very professional, fellows!
Who knows what caused the "misunderstanding" or why it wasn't cleared up in a matter of minutes. Seems pretty cut and dry that all reporters should have access to players. Women reporters have been allowed access to the Masters locker room since 1985. Hello, Augusta National Golf Club, it's 2011. Get it together.
What do you think about this "misunderstanding"?