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Augusta plans to match charity donations

Augusta National Golf Club promised to at least match last year's $3.3 million in charitable donations despite not having television sponsors for the Masters.

The club decided in August to drop its three television sponsors to keep them out of the controversy over its all-male membership. TV sponsors are a major source of income for the golf tournament.

Augusta National has been under pressure to invite a female member. The National Council of Women's Organizations and the Rev. Jesse Jackson have promised to protest during the Masters, to be played April 10-13.

"Augusta National would never allow the Masters Tournament or our charitable contributions to be compromised by threats," club spokesman Glenn Greenspan said. "Both will continue as they always have, and we will stand up for the important principles at stake here."

He said Augusta National has donated $7.4 million since 1997 to a local community foundation and $5 million the last five years to The First Tee program, which helps introduce golf to young people.

Other 2002 contributions were $500,000 to the Tiger Woods Foundation and $100,000 to the Sept. 11 Fund.

 

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