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Previously rejected columns were to run Sunday

NEW YORK -- The New York Times has decided to publish
revised versions of two sports columns on the Augusta National Golf
Club's men-only membership policy that editors previously rejected.

Executive editor Howell Raines said the paper's editors had
asked the writers, Dave Anderson and Harvey Araton, to resubmit
their work and reassured them their opinions were not at issue, The
Times reported Saturday.

The columns were scheduled to run Sunday.

Earlier this week, the Daily News reported The Times had killed
the columns because they disagreed with the stance taken by the
newspaper's editorial page.

Under Raines, The Times has devoted extensive coverage to
Augusta's refusal to accept women as members. The paper's editorial
page has criticized the club, which holds The Masters tournament
every year, and suggested that two-time defending champion Tiger
Woods sit out in protest next April.

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Anderson, who has written
previously that Augusta should admit women, said his column had
argued that Woods shouldn't be expected to boycott the tournament.

Araton's column questioned the importance of the Augusta debate.

Raines said the editors decided to kill Anderson's column
because it appeared to indulge in a squabble with the newspaper's
editorial board that made the paper look self-absorbed. Araton's
column, he added, was scrapped due to problems of structure and
tone.

"There is not now, nor will there ever be, any attempt to curb
the opinions of our writers'' or to "get them to agree with the
editorial page or any other section of the paper where an opinion
is expressed,'' Raines said.