Augusta National Chairman Billy Payne stuck to his guns on Wednesday regarding the issue of whether a woman would become a member at the home of the Masters golf tournament.

“As has been the case whenever that question is asked, all issues of membership have been and are subject to private deliberations of the members,” Payne said, according to The Marietta Daily Journal. “No. 1, we don’t talk about our private deliberations. No. 2, we especially don’t talk about them when a named candidate is part of the question.”

Payne's response has remained consistent every time the issue arises. It is topical this time because one of the club’s longtime sponsors, IBM, has a new female CEO — Virginia Rometty (pictured) — and male CEOs of IBM are almost always invited to be members. “That statement remains accurate and that remains my statement," Payne added.

Many people have weighed in on the issue, criticizing Augusta National for its outdated gender policy. Both President Barack Obama and likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney have reportedly said they would allow women into the club if it were their decision. White House press secretary Jay Carney said on Thursday that Obama's "personal opinion is that women should be admitted" to the golf club, according to USA Today.
"Certainly if I were a member, if I could run Augusta, which isn't likely to happen, of course I'd have women into Augusta," Romney said, according to a tweet from CNN's Peter Hamby.

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