The Masters: Who is Fred Ridley?

Fred S Ridley

During TV coverage of the Masters you will likely see and hear quite a lot of Fred S. Ridley... but who is he?

The 69-year-old is the chairman of Augusta National, a role he has filled since taking over from Billy Payne in 2017.

As chairman, he is the only member of Augusta who is officially authorised to discuss the Masters in public.

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Born in Florida, Ridley enjoyed a distinguished amateur career, winning the US Amateur in 1975, beating two-time major winner Curtis Strange in the process.

He featured in three editions of the Masters in 1976, 1977 and 1978 and also played in the Open and US Open in 1976, but was unable to make the cut in any of the five majors he played.

As a member of the 1977 US Walker Cup team, he twice beat future green jacket winner Sandy Lyle in singles matches.

Despite his on-course success, Ridley opted not to turn professional, instead pursuing a career in law. He remains the last winner of the US Amateur not to become a professional.

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As well as working in real estate, he continued to play in some high-profile amateur events. He played in the 1987 British Amateur and was captain of the 1987 and 1989 US Walker Cup teams, as well as the side for the 2010 Eisenhower Trophy.

Ridley was elected president of the USGA in 2004, and has served on several of the organisation’s committees. He was also previously co-chairman of the International Golf Federation.

Prior to become chairman at Augusta, he was competition committee chief in 2011. He moved into the top job in 2017 after Payne stepped down.

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