AUGUSTA, Ga. - Masters officials apologized to sports columnist Tara Sullivan of The Record (N.J.) on Sunday evening after a security guard denied her entry to a locker room for a post-tournament interview.
Augusta National spokesman Steve Ethun said the guard acted improperly in stopping Sullivan, because club policy is to provide equal access to all reporters. The club has no female members, but several female reporters at the tournament confirmed they had made numerous trips to the locker room for interviews in the past without incident.
Sullivan was among a crowd of reporters following third-round leader Rory McIlroy from the course into the clubhouse after his collapse in the final round.
"She just said women were not allowed and there was no official in sight," Sullivan said. By the time Sullivan finished trying to locate McIlroy's manager, the interview had been completed.
Ethun said the club hires a number of people to work the tournament and the guard was apparently unaware of the equal-access policy.
"It should not have happened," he said. "We will work as hard as we can to make sure it does not happen again."
Sullivan recounted the experience in Monday's edition of the Record, saying that the "issue touched a nerve."
"Augusta National does not allow women members, so perhaps security personnel could be confusing club policy with Masters policy," Sullivan wrote. "But women journalists have every right to be allowed wherever their male colleagues go, a right already determined by law. If they want to close the locker room to interviews, then they have to do it for everyone, not just me."