Jim Simons (golfer)

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Jim Simons
— Golfer —
Personal information
Full name James Bradley Simons
Born (1950-05-15)May 15, 1950
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Died December 8, 2005(2005-12-08) (aged 55)
Jacksonville, Florida
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight 175 lb (79 kg; 12.5 st)
Nationality  United States
Career
Turned professional 1972
Former tour(s) PGA Tour
Professional wins 3
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 3
Best results in Major Championships
Masters Tournament T15: 1981, 1982
U.S. Open T5: 1971
The Open Championship DNP
PGA Championship T5: 1982

James Bradley Simons (May 15, 1950 – December 8, 2005) was an American professional golfer who played on the PGA Tour in the 1970s and 1980s.[1][2]

Born in Pittsburgh, and raised in suburban Butler, Pennsylvania, Simons attended Knoch High School in Saxonburg[3] and later was a two-time All-American on the Wake Forest University golf team. He finished T-2 at the 1970 Canadian Amateur and finished runner-up at the 1971 British Amateur to Steve Melnyk.

Simons is probably best remembered for nearly winning the U.S. Open in 1971 as an amateur. At the age of 21, he shot a third-round 65 to take a two-shot lead after 54 holes at Merion Golf Club near Philadelphia. That set up the possibility of Simons becoming the first amateur to win the event since Johnny Goodman in 1933. A stroke out of the lead on the final hole, his tee shot found the rough and he double bogeyed. Simons carded a 76 to finish tied for fifth, three shots out of the Monday playoff, won by Lee Trevino.[4]

Four years earlier, Simons qualified for the U.S. Open in 1967 at Baltusrol, played just after his junior year in high school.[3] At age 17, he shot 165 (+25) and missed the 36-hole cut by 17 strokes.[5]

Simons won three PGA Tour events during his career and had over three dozen top-10 finishes; his final win came at Pebble Beach in early 1982.[6][7] His best finish in a major championship in the professional ranks was later that year, a tie for fifth in the PGA Championship.[8] He was the first player to win a televised PGA Tour event using a metal driver.

Simons played a handful of events on the Champions Tour after turning 50 in 2000. He was inducted into the Wake Forest University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1996.

Death[edit]

Simons was found dead in the hot tub in his Jacksonville, Florida home at the age of 55. The Jacksonville/Duval County medical examiner's office ruled the cause of death as accidental "multiple drug toxicity".[2][9]

Amateur wins[edit]

  • 1966 West Penn Junior Championship
  • 1969 West Penn Amateur, Pennsylvania Amateur, Western Junior
  • 1970 Pennsylvania Amateur

PGA Tour wins[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin
of victory
Winner's
share ($)
Runner-up
1 Apr 24, 1977 First NBC New Orleans Open 70-69-67-67=273 −15 3 strokes 35,000 United States Stan Lee
2 May 21, 1978 Memorial Tournament 68-69-73-74=284 −4 1 stroke 50,000 United States Bill Kratzert
3 Feb 7, 1982 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am 71-66-71-66=274 −14 2 strokes 54,000 United States Craig Stadler

PGA Tour playoff record (0–3)

No. Year Tournament Opponent Result
1 1979 Buick-Goodwrench Open United States John Fought Lost to par on second extra hole
2 1980 Sammy Davis Jr.-Greater Hartford Open United States Howard Twitty Lost to birdie on sixth extra hole
3 1984 Bob Hope Desert Classic United States John Mahaffey Lost to par on second extra hole

U.S. national team appearances[edit]

Amateur

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dulac, Gerry (December 15, 2005). "Obituary: Jim Simons / Golfer who nearly won '71 U.S. Open as amateur". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Fitzpatrick, Frank (May 12, 2013). "For 1971 Merion contender Jim Simons, life proved to be toughest course". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Simons has high time at Baltusrol". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. June 15, 1967. p. 31. 
  4. ^ "Playoff today in Open". Palm Beach Post. UPI. June 21, 1971. p. C1. Retrieved May 29, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Scally makes grade for U.S. Open finale". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. June 17, 1967. p. 31. 
  6. ^ "Simons claims Crosby title as Stadler falters". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. February 8, 1982. p. 23. 
  7. ^ "Great 66 round, Stadler blow up lifts Jim Simons". Spokane Chronicle. UPI. February 8, 1982. p. 20. 
  8. ^ "Golf Major Championships". 
  9. ^ Fields, Bill (February 6, 2006). "What happened to Jim Simons?". ESPN. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 

External links[edit]