Jim Simons (golfer)
|Full name||James Bradley Simons|
May 15, 1950|
|Died||December 8, 2005
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight||175 lb (79 kg; 12.5 st)|
|Former tour(s)||PGA Tour|
|Number of wins by tour|
|Best results in major championships
|Masters Tournament||T15: 1981, 1982|
|U.S. Open||T5: 1971|
|The Open Championship||DNP|
|PGA Championship||T5: 1982|
Born in Pittsburgh, and raised in suburban Butler, Pennsylvania, Simons attended Knoch High School in Saxonburg 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.
Four years earlier, Simons qualified for the U.S. Open in 1967 at Baltusrol, played just after his junior year in high school. At age 17, he shot 165 (+25) and missed the 36-hole cut by 17 strokes.
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. His best finish in a major championship in the professional ranks was later that year, a tie for fifth in the PGA Championship. He was the first player to win a televised PGA Tour event using a metal driver.
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".
- 1966 West Penn Junior Championship
- 1969 West Penn Amateur, Pennsylvania Amateur, Western Junior
- 1970 Pennsylvania Amateur
PGA Tour wins
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||To par||Margin
|1||Apr 24, 1977||First NBC New Orleans Open||70-69-67-67=273||−15||3 strokes||35,000||Stan Lee|
|2||May 21, 1978||Memorial Tournament||68-69-73-74=284||−4||1 stroke||50,000||Bill Kratzert|
|3||Feb 7, 1982||Bing Crosby National Pro-Am||71-66-71-66=274||−14||2 strokes||54,000||Craig Stadler|
PGA Tour playoff record (0–3)
|1||1979||Buick-Goodwrench Open||John Fought||Lost to par on second extra hole|
|2||1980||Sammy Davis Jr.-Greater Hartford Open||Howard Twitty||Lost to birdie on sixth extra hole|
|3||1984||Bob Hope Desert Classic||John Mahaffey||Lost to par on second extra hole|
Results in major championships
Note: Simons never played in The Open Championship.
LA = Low amateur
DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Yellow background for top-10
U.S. national team appearances
- Walker Cup: 1971
- 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.
- Fitzpatrick, Frank (May 12, 2013). "For 1971 Merion contender Jim Simons, life proved to be toughest course". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
- "Simons has high time at Baltusrol". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. June 15, 1967. p. 31.
- "Playoff today in Open". Palm Beach Post. UPI. June 21, 1971. p. C1. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
- "Scally makes grade for U.S. Open finale". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. June 17, 1967. p. 31.
- "Simons claims Crosby title as Stadler falters". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. February 8, 1982. p. 23.
- "Great 66 round, Stadler blow up lifts Jim Simons". Spokane Chronicle. UPI. February 8, 1982. p. 20.
- "Golf Major Championships".
- Fields, Bill (February 6, 2006). "What happened to Jim Simons?". ESPN. Retrieved May 28, 2013.