Ridley Elected as USGA President

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FAR HILLS, N.J. -- Fred S. Ridley of Tampa, Fla., has been elected to serve a one-year term as president of the United States Golf Association. The election of officers and the full 15-member USGA Executive Committee took place on Saturday, at the USGAs Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla. Ridley will lead the professional staff and nearly 1,400 volunteers who serve on more than 30 committees.
 
An attorney, Ridley, 51, 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 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, the group responsible for the conduct of all USGA competitions, for the past four years 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 elected officers of the Executive Committee are: 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
 
Eight others were re-elected for the Executive Committee, while three individuals have been elected for a first term.
 
Returning members include: Craig Ammerman of Cherry Hill, N.J.; Dr. Lewis H. Blakey of Alexandria, Va.; James T. Bunch of Denver, Colo.; Mary Bea Porter-King of Kapaa, Hawaii; Cameron Jay Rains of San Diego, Calif.; Bruce C. Richards of Bellevue, Wash.; and James F. Vernon of Pasadena, Calif..
 
In addition, Fredric C. Nelson of San Francisco, Calif., has been re-elected to serve as general counsel to the Committee.
 
The three new members of the Committee are Irving Fish of Woodland, Minn., James Hyler Jr. of Raleigh, N.C., and Loren Singletary of Houston, Texas.
 
Retiring from the Committee are immediate past president Reed Mackenzie of Chaska, Minn.; Eric Gleacher of New York, N.Y.; and John W. Vardaman of Washington, D.C. Mackenzie was been a member of the Committee since 1992. Gleacher was been a member of the Committee for the past seven years. Vardaman was with the Committee for five years, the first four as its general counsel.
 
Fish, 55, is a founding partner of Fallon Worldwide, an international advertising agency with offices in seven major cities on four continents. A 1971 graduate of Hamline University, Fish remains a senior advisor to Fallon after recently retiring as its chief operating officer.
 
He began his association with the USGA as a volunteer for the 1983 U.S. Senior Open at Hazeltine (Minn.) National Golf Club. He became more involved during the 1991 U.S. Open at Hazeltine.
 
He and his wife, Katie, have two children: Patrick and Charlie.
 
Hyler, 55, serves as vice chairman and chief operating officer of First Citizens BancShares, Inc., and First Citizens Bank, a position he has held since 1993. A 1970 graduate of Virginia Tech, Hyler has been with First Citizens since 1980, first as chief financial officer for eight years and secondly as president for five years.
 
He was chairman of the Presidents Council for the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst (N.C.) Resort and Country Club, a position he also holds for the upcoming 2005 Open at Pinehurst.
 
He lives in Raleigh with his wife, Natalie, and is the father of two children: Brad and Lori.
 
Singletary, 55, is vice president of corporate global accounts for National Oilwell. A 1971 graduate of the University of Texas, Singletary started to build a career in the oil business while spending six years in the U.S. Marines Reserves (1970-76). He was president and one of three partners who purchased LSI Specialty Electrical Products, an oil and gas service company, in 1998. LSI, in turn, was purchased in 2003 by National Oilwell.
 
He and his wife, Claudia, are both involved in amateur golf activities. Loren has been president of the Texas Golf Association since 2001, while Claudia serves as president of the Womens Texas Golf Association and is a member of the U.S. Womens Mid-Amateur committee for the USGA.
 
The USGA, golfs 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 organizations most visible role, however, is played out each season in conducting 13 national championships, including the U.S. Open, U.S. Womens 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. Womens Amateur. Nearly 40,000 golfers entered USGA championships during 2003.