Hootie Johnson, former Augusta National chairman, dies

July 14, 2017 - 3:42 pm

Hootie Johnson, the South Carolina banker who as chairman of Augusta National stood his ground on inviting female members, has died.

Augusta National said Johnson died Friday morning. He was 86.

Johnson served eight years as chairman of Augusta National and the Masters. Known for being progressive as a businessman, his term was marked by his defiance under pressure by a women's group that the club invite women to join. He famously said the club would not be bullied "at the point of a bayonet."

Johnson went so far as to eliminate television sponsors of the Masters in 2003 and 2004 to keep them from the controversy. He stepped down as club chairman and was succeeded by Billy Payne.

Augusta invited its first female members in 2012.

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