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Billy Payne retiring as Masters, Augusta National chairman

Payne announced Wednesday that he is retiring after 11 years of change that made the Augusta National logo more powerful than ever.

He had never been to the Olympics when Payne, a little-known real estate lawyer, led a long-shot bid to bring the Summer Games to Atlanta in 1996.

Wanting to expand the reach of golf, he worked with the R&A to start the Asia-Pacific Amateur, awarding the winner a spot in the Masters with hopes it would create heroes in an emerging market.

Payne also brought in the USGA and PGA of America to start the Drive, Chip and Putt competition, which attracts children all over the country to compete in golf skills, with the finals held at Augusta National on the Sunday before the Masters.

Payne recalls that when he began his tenure as chairman, his predecessor told him the most important job he faced was finding his own successor.

READ MORE (Los Angeles Times)

  • Change in leadership in the works at AugustaThe Detroit News
  • Billy Payne will step down as head of Augusta NationalYahoo Sports
  • Augusta National chairman Billy Payne announces
  • After Bringing The Olympics To Atlanta, Billy Payne Takes The Lead At Augusta
  • Billy Payne steps down as Augusta National chairman, replaced by Fred
  • Billy Payne to retire as Augusta National chairman, Fred Ridley named
  • Tampa lawyer Fred Ridley to be new chairman of Augusta National, Masters' home (blog)
  • Kuchar: Ridley 'well thought of in the game of golf"Golf Channel
  • Players share their thoughts on Payne's retirementGolf Channel

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Billy Payne retiring as Masters, Augusta National chairman


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