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Peter Dawson, Chief Exec of the R&A, to retire in September 2015

Peter Dawson has been the incumbent Chief Executive of the R&A since taking over from Sir Michael Bonallack as the head of golf’s governing body in 1999. He will also step down in September 2015 as secretary of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews as well it was announced today (Tuesday 22nd April 2014).

During his tenure Mr Dawson presided over the creation of a separate group of companies to run the Open Championship and its governance responsibilities in 2004.

That step, which came as the club celebrated its 250th anniversary, allowed it to concentrate on catering for its 2,000-plus members.

In a statement, the R&A paid tribute to Dawson, crediting him with ensuring the Open's "continuing commercial success", and allowing the organisation to "invest substantially in supporting the development of golf around the world".

Mr Dawson will continue as president of the International Golf Federation, the body recognised by the International Olympic Committee as the world governing body for golf. The IGF has extended his term of office until 2016, when the sport will make a return to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.