Finchem says Masters 'too important' to ignore

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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem says the Masters is too important for the tour to take it off its official schedule, even with an all-male membership at the club.

The PGA Tour has a policy that it does not co-sanction tournaments held at golf courses that don't allow women or minorities as members. It has no contract with the Masters, which began in 1934. Finchem says the tour will continue to count it as an official win.

He says it's up to Augusta National to determine its membership.

Finchem says the PGA Tour has no leverage to negotiate with the Masters. He says the tournament is important to the history of the game. Finchem says he can understand why people might disagree, but adds, "That's what our position is."

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