In a statement released by Augusta National on Monday morning, new club chairman Fred Ridley described the new job as “beyond humbling” and expressed his desire to continue the approach of his predecessors. Ridley was announced as the club’s seventh president in August, with Billy Payne retiring from the position.
“Throughout my life, Bobby Jones has been my idol and role model. I remember meeting Clifford Roberts during my first visit to Augusta National as an amateur invitee more than four decades ago,” Ridley said. “I stand ready to embrace the responsibilities that come with this important position, strengthened by the lessons the sport teaches and the example of those who have provided leadership to me over the years.”
Ridley, 65, is a successful business lawyer and resident of Tampa, Fla. He is a partner at the international law firm Foley & Lardner LLP, where he is the national chair of the real estate practice. He is the only Augusta chairman to have played in the Masters, having done so as an amateur for three years from 1976-78.
Ridley also expressed appreciation for those who have served in the role before him. “I would like to thank Billy Payne, our esteemed chairman emeritus, who appointed me as his successor,” Ridley said. “His confidence in allowing me this honor has already had a profound impact on my life. I am grateful to consider him a friend and mentor, both personally and professionally.”
The release suggested that Ridley will largely follow the blueprint laid out over previous generations.
“As chairman, I will always look to Jones and Roberts as a source of wisdom and inspiration,” he said. “I fully subscribe to their mandate of constant improvement and their commitment to maintaining the highest standard in all that we do. I pledge to use my deep-rooted respect for the customs and traditions they established to further elevate our club and tournament while continuing their mission of contributing to the development of the sport around the world.”
Ridley has been a member at Augusta National since 2000.