Mark James (golfer)

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Mark James
— Golfer —
Mark James.JPG
Personal information
Full name Mark Hugh James
Nickname Jesse
Born (1953-10-28) 28 October 1953 (age 61)
Manchester, England
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight 178 lb (81 kg; 12.7 st)
Nationality  England
Residence Ilkley, West Yorkshire
Career
Turned professional 1976
Current tour(s) European Seniors Tour
Former tour(s) European Tour
Champions Tour
Professional wins 31
Number of wins by tour
European Tour 18
Champions Tour 3
European Seniors Tour 2
Other 2
Best results in major championships
Masters Tournament CUT: 1980
U.S. Open CUT: 1990, 1996
The Open Championship T3: 1981
PGA Championship T31: 1999
Achievements and awards
Sir Henry Cotton
Rookie of the Year
1976

Mark Hugh James (born 28 October 1953) is an English professional golfer who had a long career on the European Tour and captained Europe in the 1999 Ryder Cup. He has also played senior golf on the European Seniors Tour and the U.S.-based Champions Tour.

James was born in Manchester, England and educated at Stamford School. He won the English Amateur championship in 1974 and was a member of the Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup team in 1975. His first professional win was the 1977 Lusaka Open and the following year he picked up the first of his eighteen wins on the European Tour at the Sun Alliance Match Play Championship. He also holds the record worst ever European Tour event score of 111 at the 1978 Italian Open in Sardinia.

James never won a major championship, but he had four top-five finishes at The Open Championship. He was consistently competitive on the European Tour with twenty top-thirty finishes on the Order of Merit, including seven top-ten finishes, the best of them third place in 1979. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2000, but after treatment he made a comeback in 2001.

James represented Great Britain & Ireland or Europe in the Ryder Cup seven times including 1989 when Europe tied the match and retained the cup they had won in 1987, and 1995 when they won it outright. He was the European captain in the controversial "Battle of Brookline" in 1999, when the behaviour of the American galleries and team created a great deal of resentment in Europe, and also James' own actions during the matches drew fire from both sides of the Atlantic.

Prior to the event, James controversially chose Andrew Coltart as his second captain's pick on the team, thus leaving out Nick Faldo and Bernhard Langer (veterans who were the two most successful players for the European team in Ryder Cup history). In one of the most discussed moves in the Ryder Cup, James then kept Jean van de Velde, Jarmo Sandelin and Coltart on the bench during all sixteen matches during the first two days of play, relegating them to singles matches on Sunday only. His refusal to play those three first-time players helped lead to Europe's defeat, as none of the three won their one match. On the other hand, United States captain Ben Crenshaw played all twelve players at least once during the first two days, even though Mark O'Meara only played once.

James published a best selling book about the event called Into the Bear Pit in 2000. In addition to criticising the behaviour of the Americans at Brookline, it also detailed James' clashes with some of his fellow Europeans including Faldo, the fading superstar whose merits as a potential captain's pick for the Ryder Cup had been much debated in the UK. James revealed in his book that just before the Ryder Cup began he had thrown a letter of encouragement from Faldo into the bin rather than share it with team. The controversy that this revelation aroused led to James resigning as one of Europe's Ryder Cup vice-captains for 2001.

A follow-up book, called After the Bear Pit, covering James' battle with cancer and his experiences as a European Tour player, as well as further thoughts on the Ryder Cup, appeared in 2002.

James qualified to play senior golf when he turned fifty in late 2003. He chose to play mainly in the U.S. and was second in the Champions Tour Qualifying Tournament Finals that November. In 2004 he became the first European player to win one of the Champions Tour's senior majors with victory at the Ford Senior Players Championship. In 2005, he won on the Champions Tour for a second time at the ACE Group Classic and finished in the top 20 on the money list for a second consecutive season. His last full season on the Champions Tour was 2010 and he has played mainly on the European Seniors Tour since then.

James has also worked as a golf commentator for the BBC.

Professional wins (31)[edit]

European Tour wins (18)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 1 Jul 1978 Sun Alliance Match Play Championship 2&1 England Neil Coles
2 17 Jun 1979 Welsh Golf Classic −6 (72-68-68-70=278) Playoff Scotland Mike Miller, Northern Ireland Eddie Polland
3 26 Aug 1979 Carroll's Irish Open −6 (73-75-69-65=282) 1 stroke United States Ed Sneed
4 17 Aug 1980 Carroll's Irish Open −4 (71-66-74-73=284) 1 stroke Scotland Brian Barnes
5 2 May 1982 Italian Open −8 (70-67-71-72=280) 3 strokes United States Bobby Clampett, Wales Ian Woosnam
6 17 Apr 1983 Tunisian Open −4 (74-69-69-72=284) 2 strokes England Gordon J. Brand, Scotland Gordon Brand Jnr,
United States Tom Sieckmann
7 19 May 1985 GSI L'Equipe Open −16 (68-67-71-66=272) 3 strokes England Carl Mason
8 17 Aug 1986 Benson & Hedges International Open −14 (65-70-69-70=274) Playoff South Africa Hugh Baiocchi, United States Lee Trevino
9 15 May 1988 Peugeot Open de Espana −18 (63-68-63-68=262) 3 strokes England Nick Faldo
10 5 Mar 1989 Karl Litten Desert Classic −11 (69-68-72-68=277) Playoff Australia Peter O'Malley
11 27 Mar 1989 AGF Open −11 (69-67-69-72=277) 3 strokes Wales Mark Mouland
12 18 Jun 1989 NM English Open −9 (72-70-69-68=279) 1 stroke Republic of Ireland Eamonn Darcy, Australia Craig Parry,
Scotland Sam Torrance
13 3 Jun 1990 Dunhill British Masters −18 (70-67-66-67=270) 2 strokes Northern Ireland David Feherty
14 19 Aug 1990 NM English Open −4 (76-68-65-75=284) Playoff Scotland Sam Torrance
15 17 Jan 1993 Turespana Iberia Open de Canarias −7 (71-69-70-71=281) 3 strokes England Gordon J. Brand, England Paul Broadhurst
16 14 Feb 1993 Madeira Island Open −13 (71-69-69-66=275) 6 strokes South Africa Wet De Basson
17 12 Mar 1995 Moroccan Open −13 (70-70-70-65=275) 1 stroke England David Gilford
18 27 Apr 1997 Peugeot Open de Espana −11 (67-68-73-69=277) Playoff Australia Greg Norman

Other wins (5)[edit]

  • 1977 Lusaka Open (Africa)
  • 1981 São Paulo Open (South America)
  • 1980 Euro Masters Invitational (Italy - not a European Tour event)
  • 1983 Euro Masters Invitational (Italy - not a European Tour event)
  • 1988 South African TPC
  • 2011 Gary Player Invitational (with George Coetzee)

Champions Tour wins (3)[edit]

Legend
Champions Tour major championships (1)
Other Champions Tour (2)
No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 11 Jul 2004 Ford Senior Players Championship −13 (68-67-67-73=275) 1 stroke Spain José Maria Cañizares
2 20 Feb 2005 The ACE Group Classic −13 (69-68-66=203) 2 strokes United States Tom Wargo, United States Hale Irwin
3 11 Feb 2007 Allianz Championship −15 (64-69-68=201) 2 strokes United States Jay Haas

European Seniors Tour wins (2)[edit]

Other senior wins (2)[edit]

Results in major championships[edit]

Tournament 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
Masters Tournament DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
U.S. Open DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
The Open Championship CUT DNP DNP T5 CUT CUT 4
PGA Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Tournament 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
Masters Tournament CUT DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
U.S. Open DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
The Open Championship T45 T3 T51 T29 T44 T20 T35 CUT T63 T13
PGA Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
Masters Tournament DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
U.S. Open CUT DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT DNP DNP DNP DNP
The Open Championship T31 T26 CUT T27 T4 T8 T22 T20 T18 T43 CUT
PGA Championship CUT DNP T40 CUT CUT DNP CUT DNP DNP T31 DNP

DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Yellow background for top-10

Summary[edit]

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
U.S. Open 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
The Open Championship 0 0 1 4 5 10 26 20
PGA Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 2
Totals 0 0 1 4 5 10 35 22
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 7 (1980 Open Championship – 1986 Open Championship)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 1 (five times)

Champions Tour major championships[edit]

Wins (1)[edit]

Year Championship Winning score Margin Runner-up
2004 Ford Senior Players Championship −13 (68-67-67-73=275) 1 stroke Spain José Maria Cañizares

Results timeline[edit]

Results not in chronological order before 2014.

Tournament 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
The Tradition T19 4 T4 DNP DNP T41 T50 DNP DNP DNP DNP
Senior PGA Championship T4 T10 CUT T33 T62 T9 T56 CUT T56 CUT DNP
Senior Players Championship 1 T49 T11 DNP DNP T22 T11 DNP DNP DNP DNP
U.S. Senior Open T15 T54 T14 T47 T29 DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Senior British Open Championship 4 T12 T15 T61 T16 T43 T20 T72 T53 47 CUT

DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the halfway cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.

Team appearances[edit]

Amateur

  • Walker Cup (representing Great Britain & Ireland): 1975

Professional

See also[edit]

External links[edit]