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Billy Payne steps down as chairman of Augusta National
Billy Payne said that he will step down as chairman of Augusta National when the club season begins next month. Fred Ridley will take his place.
By GOLF WIRE
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Billy Payne's successor—a question that long had no answer…finally does. Fred Ridley is the man, and he holds quite the golf pedigree. He has existed as a member of Augusta National for years and helped run the event from multiple positions, but there's plenty more to know about Augusta National's newest chairman.

HE'S A FORMER U.S. AMATEUR CHAMPION

Ridley won the 1975 U.S. Amateur over Keith Fergus (2 up) at the Country Club of Virginia. En route to the championship, Ridley beat two-time major-winner Curtis Strange.

HE WAS A WALKER CUP MEMBER AND CAPTAIN

As you can see, Ridley's amateur career was strong. He played in the 1977 Walker Cup where he won both singles matches, and the United States team was victorious. Ridley also captained Walker Cup teams in 1987 and 1989.

HE'S COMPETED AT THE MASTERS

As the U.S. Amateur champ, Ridley competed in the 1976 Masters (shooting 14 over) as well as the following years 1977 (10 over) and 1978 (21 over, which saw him finish in a tie for last place).

Fred Ridley (right) walks alongside Jack Nicklaus during the 1976 Masters.
Augusta National

HE WAS AT THE CENTER OF TIGER'S INFAMOUS 2013 DROP

Serving as the Masters competition committee chairman, Ridley received a message from a TV viewer about Woods's controversial drop. Eventually, as Michael Bamberger details here, Woods was allowed to continue competing, but was docked two strokes.

HE'S A FORMER USGA PRESIDENT

Ridley is no newbie to golf administration. He served as president of the USGA in 2004 and 2005. His first statements as chairman of Augusta National will likely come at the Masters in April 2018.

Fred Ridley's first public remarks will likely come in April 2018.
Getty Images // David Cannon

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