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Dawson to step down as R&A chief executive

ESPN staff
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Peter Dawson will retire as chief executive of the R&A and secretary of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews next year.

An R&A statement released on Tuesday confirmed the news that Dawson will be stepping down from his duties in September 2015.

"Mr Dawson will step down in September 2015 after 16 years leading the body which organises the Open Championship and governs the sport worldwide in conjunction with the United States Golf Association," the statement read.

"Having succeeded Sir Michael Bonallack as secretary of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club in 1999, Mr Dawson took over in an important period in the club's history. In 2004, the same year that the club celebrated its 250th anniversary, the private members' club formed a separate group of companies to run the Open and conduct its governance responsibilities.

"This evolution enabled the R&A to focus on its governance role, running successful championships and supporting the growth of the game around the world and the club to concentrate on catering for the needs of its more than 2,000 members."

Last month Dawson said the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews feels it has "strong support" ahead of a September 18 vote to allow women members, 260 years after it was founded.

Dawson, who was appointed president of the International Golf Federation in 2010, was a key figure in securing golf's return to the Olympics, where it will feature at the Rio Games in 2016.

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