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Pro golf: Billy Payne retiring

As the sixth chairman of Augusta National Golf Club — and the first with no direct link to co-founders Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts — he held fast to the heritage and traditions of the club, while looking beyond Magnolia Lane at how the Masters could wield influence around the world for more than one week of the year.

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.

READ MORE (South Bend Tribune)

  • Fred Ridley, former US Amateur champ, to take over at Augusta NationalThe Denver Post
  • I've disagreed with Billy Payne, but on some things we share the same tuneUSA TODAY
  • Billy Payne retiring as Masters, Augusta National chairmanLos Angeles Times
  • Augusta National chairman Billy Payne announces
  • Timeline of Billy Payne's tenure as Augusta National and Masters chairmanThe Augusta Chronicle
  • After Bringing The Olympics To Atlanta, Billy Payne Takes The Lead At Augusta
  • Billy Payne brought Augusta National out of the past while respecting traditionABC News
  • Payne stepping down as Augusta National chairmanQuad-Cities Online
  • Payne retires as Augusta National Golf Club chairmanAsheboro Courier Tribune

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Pro golf: Billy Payne retiring


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