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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]

Jim Simons
Personal information
Full nameJames Bradley Simons
Born(1950-05-15)May 15, 1950
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
DiedDecember 8, 2005(2005-12-08) (aged 55)
Jacksonville, Florida
Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight175 lb (79 kg; 12.5 st)
Nationality United States
Turned professional1972
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
Professional wins3
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour3
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentT15: 1981, 1982
PGA ChampionshipT5: 1982
U.S. OpenT5: 1971
The Open ChampionshipDNP

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.



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 winsEdit

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

PGA Tour winsEdit

No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin
of victory
share ($)
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)

No. Year Tournament Opponent Result
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 championshipsEdit

Tournament 1967 1968 1969
Masters Tournament
U.S. Open CUT
PGA Championship
Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
Masters Tournament CUT T41 CUT CUT T23
U.S. Open T5LA T15LA CUT T62 CUT T35 T16
PGA Championship T60 T25 T46
Tournament 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984
Masters Tournament T19 T15 T15 CUT
U.S. Open T22 T58 CUT
PGA Championship CUT CUT T5 T30 CUT

Note: Simons never played in The Open Championship.

  Top 10
  Did not play

LA = Low amateur
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place

U.S. national team appearancesEdit



  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 linksEdit