When Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore became the first two female members at Augusta National, the moment earned righteous applause – it was about time Augusta moved into the 20th century, let alone the 21st. Whether or not the golf club chose to exercise the basic tenets of equal opportunity due to public pressure or deep soul searching, who knows. But the moment happened, and the two women became a symbol of progress.
Not that they’re too terrible at golf, either. Rice, for her part, is by no means a professional, but a 17 handicap isn’t half bad. On Thursday she played the Pebble Beach Pro-Am with partner Jason Bohn, who finished with a one-under par 71, and the New York Times recapped her outing with the hackneyed famous-person-is-a-normal-gal story arc, citing the pair’s mutual Alabama Crimson Tide affection.
But then on the sixth hole her game fell apart due to emotional trauma. Guilt, to be precise, because Rice’s fourth shot went astray and struck a female spectator in the face, leaving a bloody mess. Rice quickly ran over to find out what happened:
“‘Did I hit you?’ Rice said, moving quickly to reach the woman, who had a bloody gash above the bridge of her nose. Her daughter was trying to use a pairings sheet as a bandage. ‘It was a bad shot. I’m really sorry.’
Rice knelt, handed the woman’s daughter a white towel to stanch the bleeding and held the woman’s right hand until first-aid personnel arrived. Before she headed to the green, she asked the daughter to call her with an update on her mother’s condition. Rice’s assistant, who was walking outside the ropes, slipped the daughter a piece of paper after Rice left.”
Rice’s game went haywire from that point forward, presumably done in by her own ineptitude. But she should know that she’s not alone – it happens to the best of ‘em.