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Condoleezza Rice becomes first female member of Augusta golf club

Condoleezza Rice in her golfing get-up Credit: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

One of America's most prestigious private golf clubs has invited the former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice to be one of its first two female members.

Along with business executive Darla Moore, she is the only woman to have her membership bid approved. Augusta chairman Billy Payne described the landmark decision as a "joyous occasion" and a "proud moment".

Ms Rice, who served as secretary of state under President W. Bush, said she felt fortunate to have the "opportunity to grow my love for this great game".

Augusta National Golf Club was opened in 1933 and has drawn criticism for its exclusive and non-transparent membership policy. Black members were not admitted until 1990.