Darla Moore hits the green (jacket)
What do Margaret Chase Smith, Geraldine Ferraro, Margaret Thatcher, Nikki Haley, Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore have in common? They all earned places on the list of gender-barrier-breaking women.
Mrs. Smith was the first woman to serve in both chambers of Congress, Mrs. Ferraro the first to run on a major-party presidential ticket, Mrs. Thatcher the first to serve as British prime minister, Mrs. Haley the first to serve as South Carolina governor, Ms. Rice the first to serve as White House national security adviser and Ms. Moore the first to be profiled in a cover story by Fortune magazine.
And now Ms. Rice and Ms. Moore are the first women to join Augusta National Golf Club.
While Ms. Rice’s entry into that longtime all-boys club understandably grabbed the most global and national attention Monday, Ms. Moore holds this time-saving edge over her as an Augusta National member: She won’t have to travel nearly as far as Ms. Rice to play the fabled course that is the site of golf’s first “major” each year — the scenic Masters in April.
That’s because Ms. Moore, a Lake City native who became the highest-paid woman in the banking industry during the 1980s, remains a Palmetto State resident (most of the time). Former Secretary of State Rice, currently a Stanford University professor, lives three time zones away from Amen Corner.
Ms. Moore, a proud and generous University of South Carolina graduate, has contributed $25 million and pledged another $50 million to her alma mater — home of the Darla Moore School of Business. The loyal Gamecocks fan has even pledged $10 million to Clemson University in the name of her late father Eugene Moore, a Clemson graduate.
But on Monday, Ms. Moore sounded thrilled to join another winning team, explaining in a statement:
“Above all, Augusta National and the Masters Tournaments have always stood for excellence, and that is what is so important to me.”
Augusta National’s entry into the modern realm of gender equality, albeit long overdue, is important, too.
Just don’t count on those loud green jackets looking much better on women than they do on men.