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Payne’s Painless Presser

Something was missing from Augusta National Golf Club chairman Billy Payne’s annual news conference Wednesday morning.

Controversy.


The women’s membership issue?

Gone now that Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore are members.

“Awesome,” Payne said of the club’s new members.

The proposed anchored putting ban?

Payne said the club isn’t a governing body so it is staying out of the public discussion other than to strongly endorse the notion of one set of rules for all of golf.

The chairman announced the winners of the PGA Tour events in the fall – actually the start of a new season – will earn spots in The Masters.

That means only the top 12 finishers in the Masters will automatically get into the next one, down from 16. To get in through the U.S. Open, it now will take a top-four finish rather than a top-eight finish.

The cut was bumped from the low 44 and ties to the low 50 and ties with the 10-shot rule in effect.

No drama.

That belongs on the golf course again.

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