(Via Golfweek) William Porter “Billy” Payne is stepping down after more than 11 years as chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament.
Payne, who turns 70 on Oct. 13, will serve his last day as chairman three days later, with Fred Ridley, the current chairman of the competition committees, becoming the new chairman on Oct. 16. Payne will then become chairman emeritus.
The news was announced on the Masters website and via Twitter.
It’s tough to see Billy Payne leave the world of golf, especially with the amount of success he has had at Augusta. He brought Arnie, Gary and Jack back to be the honorary starters, and also brought back the tradition of having every winner from the previous year be given a spot in the tournament. He led the Augusta National upgrades, went down in history as the chairman that changed the archaic women member laws, and the Georgia native truly loves the course. Overall, Billy Payne has helped make the Masters Tournament what it is today. From all Masters and golf fans, I say thank you to Billy Payne for doing a wonderful job at Augusta.