AUGUSTA, GEORGIA | Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley is thoughtful and measured, whether being asked if Greg Norman will ever be welcomed back to Augusta National (he was understandably non-committal) or if lengthening the par-5 13th hole may diminish the drama on the far end of Amen Corner (let’s see what the weather does, he suggested).
Maybe it’s the lawyer in Ridley, who is smart enough to think before he speaks, especially since his voice can ring like a cannon shot on a quiet night. He doesn’t throw verbal firebombs but there is a gravity to what he says, knowing its potential impact, which makes his annual question-and-answer session with the Masters media more than a tradition.
So it was Wednesday morning when the chairman settled into a leather chair behind the dark wood desk framed by a moat of red azaleas at the front of the interview room in the club’s palatial media center.
Flanked by competition chairman Jim Hyler and media chairman Tom Nelson, each in his green jacket and club tie, Ridley didn’t make an...
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