It's hard to believe that Charl Schwartzel's remarkable victory in the 75th Masters could be upstaged by a security guard, but it has. And what was, at its core, a stupid mistake has become something of an international incident.
New Jersey-based columnist Tara Sullivan was trying to interview Rory McIlroy when a female security guard prevented her from going into the locker room where McIlroy had entered.
She (the security guard) mumbled something about since there was an open bathroom in the area no females were allowed, and if she tried to go in another guard would stop her.
The guard had no clue what she was talking about. For more than a quarter of a century Augusta National Golf Club has allowed equal access to all reporters regardless of gender.
What happened, of course, is inexcusable. The folks who run the show during Masters week are so detail-oriented, it's astonishing to think that a detail like that would be left out.
If officials didn't make it clear to security personnel -- supplied by the famous Pinkerton Agency -- that people with badges are to be viewed only as "working press" and not man or woman, then they screwed up.
Regardless, I feel terrible for Sullivan, who was humiliated. I can't imagine someone stopping me from doing my job based on my gender or race because, frankly, it's never happened.
So I can say I understand the anger and indignation Sullivan must've felt, but I'd be lying because as a male, I don't.
And even though Steve Ethun of the Masters media committee quickly apologized and admitted it was a dumb mistake on the part of the guard, it still put Sullivan in an embarrassing spot she didn't ask to be in.
Unfortunately, the debate has left the tracks.
Now there are those trying to equate Augusta National's sexist, antiquated membership policies with last Sunday's isolated incident.
Even Sullivan herself said in a tweet, "Bad enough no women members at Augusta. But not allowing me to join writers in locker room interview is just wrong."
The fact that Augusta National is a "Boys Club" isn't a revelation. Its membership policies have always been male only (and until 1990, white male only) and remain so because it's a private club. You don't have to like it, but that's the way it is.
None of this is news.
If any woman properly credentialed for the Masters was being systematically mistreated, we'd have ourselves a real problem. That's not what happened.
What did happen was a regrettable mistake.
The bottom line is this: if we're so concerned with Augusta National's internal policies, then we need to quit applying for credentials until and unless the club decides to welcome in female members.
Otherwise, we need to do our jobs and hope that next time, security guards at the Masters know how to do theirs.