Tampa's Fred Ridley Re-Nominated As USGA President In 2005
November 22, 2004
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Far Hills, N.J. - Fred S. Ridley of Tampa, Fla., was nominated to serve a second one-year term as president of the United States Golf Association. The election of officers and the full 15-member USGA Executive Committee, which stays intact from 2004, took place on Feb. 5, 2005, at the USGA's Annual Meeting in Santa Barbara, Calif. Ridley will again lead the professional staff and nearly 1,400 volunteers who serve on more than 30 committees.
An attorney, Ridley, 52, is a partner in the Tampa office of Foley & Lardner, an international law firm of more than 900 lawyers. Ridley is the second Foley & Lardner partner to serve as USGA president, following the late Lynford Lardner, who held that position in 1972-73. Ridley is a 1974 graduate of the University of Florida, where he was a three-time letterman for the Florida golf team, and a 1977 graduate of the Stetson University College of Law.
He began his professional career as assistant to the general counsel for International Management Group (IMG) in Cleveland, Ohio, from 1977 to 1980, before moving back to his native Florida to begin practicing law.
Ridley has had a distinguished career in amateur golf. He has competed in 15 USGA championships, including 10 U.S. Amateurs. He won the 1975 U.S. Amateur and earned a selection to the 1976 USA World Amateur team and the 1977 USA Walker Cup team. He was also named the non-playing captain of the USA Walker Cup team in 1987 and 1989.
Interestingly, Ridley is the last Amateur champion to never have become a professional golfer. He has played in three Masters Tournaments and a U.S. Open, where he was paired with Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson. He has a career-low round of 63.
Ridley also served as chairman of the Championship Committee for the past four years, the group responsible for the conduct of all USGA competitions, and has chaired the Amateur Status and Conduct and the International Team Selection Committees.
He and his wife, Betsy, have three children: Maggie, Libby and Sydney.
The other re-nominated officers of the Executive Committee were: Walter W. Driver Jr. of Atlanta, Ga., and Paul D. Caruso Jr., of Helena, Mont., as vice presidents; James E. Reinhart of Mequon, Wis., as secretary and Emily R. (Missy) Crisp of Mill Neck, N.Y., as treasurer
The other 11 returning members of the Executive Committee are: Craig Ammerman of Cherry Hill, N.J.; Dr. Lewis H. Blakey of Alexandria, Va.; James T. Bunch of Denver, Colo.; Irving Fish of Wayzata, Minn., James Hyler Jr. of Raleigh, N.C., Mary Bea Porter-King of Kapaa, Hawaii; Cameron Jay Rains of San Diego, Calif.; Bruce C. Richards of Bellevue, Wash.; Loren Singletary of Houston, Texas, and James F. Vernon of Pasadena, Calif.
In addition, Fredric C. Nelson of San Francisco, Calif., was re-nominated to serve as general counsel to the Committee.
The USGA by-law provisions governing the nominating process were amended during the past year. The 2006 nominating committee (active in 2005) will consist of two USGA recent past presidents and three at-large committee members, who will serve staggered three-year terms. The 2006 nominating committee will have F. Morgan "Buzz" Taylor (president in 1998-99) as chairman and Trey Holland (president in 2000-01) will serve as vice-chairman. The three at-large members of the committee will be Christopher Liedel of Reston, Va., John O'Neill of Southampton, N.Y., and Winfield Padgett Jr.of Dallas, Texas. The current Association president will be an ex-officio member of the committee.
The USGA, golf's governing body in this country and Mexico, works closely with the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland to produce a uniform code of Rules of Golf that are observed worldwide.
The organization's most visible role, however, is played out each season in conducting 13 national championships, including the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open, and U.S. Senior Open. The other 10 national championships are exclusively for amateurs, and include the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Women's Amateur. Nearly 40,000 golfers entered USGA championships during 2004.