Georgia alum Billy Payne announces retirement as Masters Chairman, to be succeeded by former Florida golfer

The leadership of the Masters Tournament is changing hands, but it’s staying in the SEC.

Billy Payne, graduate of the University of Georgia and Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and Masters Tournament, announced on Wednesday that he will retire from his position.

Payne, 69, has served in this role for more than a decade, starting on May 21, 2006. His retirement will go into effect on Oct. 16, 2017.

“The privilege I experienced serving as Chairman of Augusta National and the Masters was far greater than I could have ever imagined,” said Payne, whose new title will be Chairman Emeritus. “Just as nothing can prepare you for the unique responsibilities and important decisions that come with this position, it is equally impossible to anticipate the many joys and, most importantly, the wonderful friendships that are the ultimate reward of service.”

Succeeding Payne will be Fred Ridley, who is currently the Chairman of the Competition Committees for the Masters Tournament. According to PGA.com, Ridley graduated from the University of Florida, where he was a three-time letter winner on the Gators golf team. Ridley played in the Masters three times during his professional career.

“I am now proud to call upon my good friend Fred Ridley to lead Augusta National and the Masters to a future that I am confident will hold new promise, while always being faithful to the principles of Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts,” Payne said. “Fred will be an excellent Chairman who will serve with my complete and enthusiastic support.”

The post Georgia alum Billy Payne announces retirement as Masters Chairman, to be succeeded by former Florida golfer appeared first on SEC Country.

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