Condoleezza Rice Plays Golf With Mickelson at Augusta National

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who last year became one of the first two female members at Augusta National Golf Club, played a casual round of golf with three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson yesterday ahead of this week’s tournament.

Rice, 58, was later shown by the Golf Channel wearing the private club’s traditional green jacket as she talked with players and fellow members on the practice range.

“She’s got the greatest personality and attitude, and she’s so much fun to be around,” the Golf Channel cited Mickelson as saying after his round with Rice in Augusta, Georgia. “She’s so knowledgeable about world affairs. It’s just incredible. It’s a great experience. As soon as I saw she was a member, I called her to work up a game.”

Mickelson said Rice ended her round with a 40-foot par putt at the final hole, according to the Golf Channel.

Augusta National members typically don’t give interviews during the week of the Masters Tournament and Rice didn’t take questions yesterday from reporters, the Associated Press said.

The Masters, the first of golf’s four annual major championships, is scheduled for April 11-14.

Rice and Rainwater Inc. financier Darla Moore in August 2012 became Augusta National’s first female members following almost a decade of scrutiny over its all-male membership.

As Rice played a round with Mickelson, MSNBC yesterday aired an interview with Moore, 58, who described her invitation to become an Augusta National member as a “lifetime honor.”

Moore, who was interviewed at her 300-acre estate in Lake City, South Carolina, said while her goal as a philanthropist is to effect positive change, she has no plans to push for more female members at the club.

“I wouldn’t think that would be something I would do,” Moore said in the interview. “That wouldn’t be my role there. I’m a member. I’m not an advocate, I’m a member.”