Augusta National Golf Club invited former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier and philanthropist Darla Moore on this date in 2012 to be the first female members of the club since it was founded in 1932 by Bobby Jones and Cliff Roberts.
The club, the home of the Masters, had excluded women as members throughout its 80-year history. Rice, a competitive ice skater and serious tennis player, had taken up golf seven years earlier.
In an interview with Golf Digest, Rice said, “I don’t like anything that’s just an escape. To me, the best part of golf is, unlike my tennis game, I can actually get better.”
Augusta National admitted its first Black members in 1990. This year’s Masters is scheduled to be played Nov. 12-15.
A look at memorable games and outstanding sports performances on Aug. 20, through the years:
1944 — Robert Hamilton sank a 15-foot birdie putt on the 36th hole that beat heavily favored Byron Nelson 1-up in the final round of the PGA Championship at Manito Golf and Country Club in Spokane, Wash. Nelson was the low qualifier with a two-round total of 138, but during the championship match, he missed short putts on nine greens. It was reported later that Hamilton displayed unsportsmanlike conduct when he tried to distract Nelson by coughing before he putted.
1945 — Tommy Brown of the Dodgers became the youngest player in the major leagues to hit a home run when he connected off of Preacher Roe in a 7-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates at Ebbets Field. Brown, at 17 years and 257 days, was playing in place of shortstop Pee Wee Reese, who had been called to military service.
1965 — Eddie Mathews of the Milwaukee Braves hit his 28th home run of the season in the eighth inning of a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. With the home run, Mathews and Henry Aaron passed Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig with 772 home runs while playing on the same team since 1954. Mathews would be traded to the Houston Astros in 1967 but not before he and Aaron would clout 863 home runs in their time with the Braves.
1989 — Howard Johnson, a utility player with the New York Mets, hit his 30th home run of the season in a 5-4 loss to the Dodgers, and the clout made him just the third player along with Bobby Bonds and Willie Mays to record 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in multiple seasons.
2003 — The U.S. women’s gymnastics team won the top prize in overall competition at the world championships in Anaheim. It was the first gold medal for the Americans — men or women — at the international event. Team USA performed flawlessly on the balance beam and the floor exercise to seal its victory over defending champion Romania. Australia won the bronze medal and China finished fourth after an average performance in the floor exercise.
2006 — Tiger Woods won the PGA Championship and his 12th major tournament when he finished ahead of Shaun Micheel by five strokes at Medinah Country Club outside Chicago. He also was first player to win the PGA twice on the same course, having done so at Medinah in 1999.
2016 — The United States Olympic team bid adieu to the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro after Allyson Felix and LaShawn Merritt anchored the women’s and men’s 1,600-meter relay teams, respectively, to gold-medal victories. The U.S. women’s basketball team, not to be left out, topped Spain, 101-72 for its sixth-straight title. American athletes would leave South America with a record 121 medals including 46 golds.
2018 — Alabama, the reigning national champion, was the second team to be ranked No. 1 in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 football poll for the third straight season. The preseason AP poll started in 1950 and since then only Oklahoma from 1985 to 1987 began its season as No. 1 in three straight years.
SOURCES: The Times, Associated Press