The Masters' Billy Payne steps down as Augusta Nationwide chairman

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Augusta Nationwide Golfing Membership, host of probably the most prestigious best in golfing, The Masters, is getting a brand new chairman. William Porter Payne, a.okay.a. Billy, introduced on Wednesday that he used to be retiring as chairman of Augusta Nationwide. The membership named Fred Ridley as his successor. He’s simply the 7th chairman in Augusta Nationwide’s historical past and the primary who has ever performed in The Masters (Ridley gained the 1975 U.S. Novice and competed within the Masters from 1976 to 1978).

Payne’s tenure lasted eleven years. He joined he membership in 1997 after serving because the CEO of the Atlanta Olympics after which was chairman of ANGC 9 years later. The placement is one in every of, if now not probably the most tough in golfing but in addition comes with excessive scrutiny, as we witnessed right through a few memorable and on occasion contentious Payne press meetings each and every Masters week.

Underneath Payne’s management, Augusta:

  • Admitted its first feminine individuals — Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore
  • Created the Asia-Pacific newbie championship with the winner getting an invitation to the Masters
  • Created the Latin The united states newbie championship with the winner getting an invitation to the Masters
  • Created the Pressure, Chip, and Putt Championship for boys and girls a while 7-15
  • Superior and regularly driven its virtual media and streaming protection
  • Evolved and extended the operational and hospitality infrastructure of the Masters with Berckmans Position and an incredible new media middle

With its site and infrastructure construction, Payne labored to “modernize” the industry of the Masters beneath the outside with out the staid “custom in contrast to some other” taking a look dramatically other at the floor.


2016 Masters- Previews

Payne and his eventual successor, Fred Ridley.
Photograph by way of Scott Halleran/Getty Photographs for Golfweek

What Payne didn’t do:

  • Any vital direction adjustments as a successor to Hootie Johnson, the person who oversaw so much of the Tiger-proofing that tailored the format to the up to date professional recreation. Payne’s chairmanship noticed the lack of the Eisenhower tree at the seventeenth hollow and the up to date acquire of land from adjoining Augusta U . s . Membership, rumored for use for lengthening the par-five thirteenth hollow. If that fluctuate in Amen Nook on the thirteenth hollow occurs, it is going to begin beneath Ridley’s watch.
  • Permit cellular phone telephones at the assets. Regardless of how ubiquitous cell phones become in society, and at different golfing occasions the place host businesses relented and allowed them, the Masters used to be by no means going to allow them at the grounds beneath Payne. In case you have been noticed with one, you have been right away reprimanded and/or got rid of.

In April, Payne used to be requested if ANGC may chill out its cell phone coverage. The fast and terse reaction used to be “You will have to ask the following chairman.” So it wasn’t going to occur with Payne in energy, and Ridley may not be going to switch it both. After all, the textual content message, Twitter, Fb, Snapchat, digital camera-loose setting created one of those lack of know-how-is-bliss bubble that used to be relaxing, if for just one week a yr.

Ridley is the final U.S. Novice champion to not flip professional and has had a prominent profession now at of probably the most unique our bodies within the recreation. He used to be President of the USGA from 2004 to 2005, after which was chairman of the tough Masters festival committee in 2007. Among the newbie profession as a participant, and his government positions at of probably the most tough businesses within the recreation, Ridley, prior to he turns into lead canine at ANGC, already boasts an finished profession. He additionally, then again, featured prominently, and now not all the time impressively, in Alan Shipnuck’s inside of tale of the ruling on Tiger Woods’ infamous penalty drop on the 2013 Masters.

Ridley is most effective the 7th chairman in historical past since the place used to be held for forty five years by way of Clifford Roberts, who based the membership with Bobby Jones. Payne brought up the 2 founders in his hand-off comments on Wednesday.

“I’m now proud to name upon my just right family member Fred Ridley to steer Augusta Nationwide and the Masters to a long run that I’m assured will cling new promise, whilst all the time being trustworthy to the rules of Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts. Fred will probably be a very good Chairman who will serve with my whole and enthusiastic improve.”

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