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Poll PGA Should Recognize Masters

NEW YORK -- Two-thirds of the men and half the women interviewed in a New York Times poll said they did not believe the PGA Tour should withdraw its recognition of the Masters.
The poll comes in response to the debate over whether Augusta National, the host of the Masters, should admit a female member. The club has said it has no intention of doing so before the next Masters in April.
The poll also found that a majority of men and women said they thought private clubs for men only were wrong, the Times reported Monday.
The poll, conducted Wednesday through Saturday, surveyed 846 adults nationwide. It had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
In addition, the poll found that 55 percent of the men said they opposed any requirement that a private club change its policies.
Among the women, however, 44 percent said it would be unfair and 43 percent said it would not ' a statistical dead heat, given the poll's margin of error. Thirteen percent had no opinion.
The club previously released a survey it commissioned and said the results indicated most people agree Augusta National can set its own membership policies as a private club.
The national poll, conducted by Washington-based The Polling Company Inc. and WomenTrend, reported that 60 percent of the 800 people asked agreed Augusta National should retain its membership policy. Seventy-four percent said the club ``has the right to have members of one gender only.''
Harry O'Neill, chairman of the polling review board of the National Council of Public Polls, said the poll included ``terribly loaded questions'' with ``emotionally loaded words.''