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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 Senior Tour and the U.S.-based Champions Tour.

Mark James
Mark James.JPG
Personal information
Full nameMark Hugh James
Born (1953-10-28) 28 October 1953 (age 65)
Manchester, England
Height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight178 lb (81 kg; 12.7 st)
Nationality England
ResidenceBurley in Wharfedale, West Yorkshire, England
Turned professional1976
Current tour(s)European Senior Tour
Former tour(s)European Tour
Champions Tour
Professional wins31
Number of wins by tour
European Tour18
PGA Tour Champions3
European Senior Tour2
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentCUT: 1980
PGA ChampionshipT31: 1999
U.S. OpenCUT: 1990, 1996
The Open ChampionshipT3: 1981
Achievements and awards
Sir Henry Cotton
Rookie of the Year

James was born in Manchester, England and educated at Stamford School. He won the English Amateur championship at Woodhall Spa in 1974 [1] and was a member of the Great Britain & Ireland 1975 Walker Cup team. 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 for the highest European Tour event round of 111 strokes 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 began playing golf again in 2001.[2]

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' 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.[3] 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 Senior 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
1 1 Jul 1978 Sun Alliance European Match Play Championship 3&2   Neil Coles
2 17 Jun 1979 Welsh Golf Classic −6 (72-68-68-70=278) Playoff   Mike Miller,   Eddie Polland
3 26 Aug 1979 Carroll's Irish Open −6 (73-75-69-65=282) 1 stroke   Ed Sneed
4 17 Aug 1980 Carroll's Irish Open −4 (71-66-74-73=284) 1 stroke   Brian Barnes
5 2 May 1982 Italian Open −8 (70-67-71-72=280) 3 strokes   Bobby Clampett,   Ian Woosnam
6 17 Apr 1983 Tunisian Open −4 (74-69-69-72=284) 2 strokes   Gordon J. Brand,   Gordon Brand, Jnr,
  Tom Sieckmann
7 19 May 1985 GSI L'Equipe Open −16 (68-67-71-66=272) 3 strokes   Carl Mason
8 17 Aug 1986 Benson & Hedges International Open −14 (65-70-69-70=274) Playoff   Hugh Baiocchi,   Lee Trevino
9 15 May 1988 Peugeot Open de Espana −18 (63-68-63-68=262) 3 strokes   Nick Faldo
10 5 Mar 1989 Karl Litten Desert Classic −11 (69-68-72-68=277) Playoff   Peter O'Malley
11 27 Mar 1989 AGF Open −11 (69-67-69-72=277) 3 strokes   Mark Mouland
12 18 Jun 1989 NM English Open −9 (72-70-69-68=279) 1 stroke   Eamonn Darcy,   Craig Parry,
  Sam Torrance
13 3 Jun 1990 Dunhill British Masters −18 (70-67-66-67=270) 2 strokes   David Feherty
14 19 Aug 1990 NM English Open −4 (76-68-65-75=284) Playoff   Sam Torrance
15 17 Jan 1993 Madeira Island Open −7 (71-69-70-71=281) 3 strokes   Gordon J. Brand,   Paul Broadhurst
16 14 Feb 1993 Turespana Iberia Open de Canarias −13 (71-69-69-66=275) 6 strokes   De Wet Basson
17 12 Mar 1995 Moroccan Open −13 (70-70-70-65=275) 1 stroke   David Gilford
18 27 Apr 1997 Peugeot Open de Espana −11 (67-68-73-69=277) Playoff   Greg Norman

European Tour playoff record (5–4)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1979 Welsh Golf Classic   Mike Miller,   Eddie Polland Won with par on third extra hole
Polland eliminated by birdie on second hole
2 1984 St. Mellion Timeshare TPC   Jaime Gonzalez Lost to par on second extra hole
3 1985 Lancome Trophy   Nick Price Lost to par on third extra hole
4 1986 Benson & Hedges International Open   Hugh Baiocchi,   Lee Trevino Won with birdie on first extra hole
5 1989 Karl Litten Desert Classic   Peter O'Malley Won with birdie on first extra hole
6 1989 German Open   Craig Parry Lost to par on second extra hole
7 1990 NM English Open   Sam Torrance Won with birdie on first extra hole
8 1992 BMW International Open   Paul Azinger,   Glen Day,
  Anders Forsbrand,   Bernhard Langer
Azinger won with birdie on first extra hole
9 1997 Peugeot Open de Espana   Greg Norman Won with par on third extra hole

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

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

European Senior Tour wins (2)Edit

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 4 Sep 2005 Bovis Lend Lease European Senior Masters −9 (70-71-66=207) Playoff   Sam Torrance
2 10 May 2009 Son Gual Mallorca Senior Open −10 (70-70-66=206) Playoff   Eamonn Darcy

Other senior wins (2)Edit

Results in major championshipsEdit

Tournament 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
Masters Tournament
U.S. Open
The Open Championship CUT CUT T5 CUT CUT 4
PGA Championship
Tournament 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
Masters Tournament CUT
U.S. Open
The Open Championship T45 T3 T51 T29 T44 T20 T35 CUT T62 T13
PGA Championship
Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
Masters Tournament
The Open Championship T31 T26 CUT T27 T4 T8 T22 T20 T19 T43 CUT
PGA Championship CUT T40 CUT CUT CUT T31
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half-way cut (3rd round cut in 1974, 1977 and 1978 Open Championships)
"T" indicates a tie for a place


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)

Senior major championshipsEdit

Wins (1)Edit

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

Senior results timelineEdit

Results not in chronological order before 2017.

Tournament 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
The Tradition T19 4 T4 T41 T50
Senior PGA Championship T4 T10 CUT T33 T62 T9 T56 CUT T56 CUT
U.S. Senior Open T15 T54 T14 T47 T29
Senior Players Championship 1 T49 T11 T22 T11
Senior British Open Championship 4 T12 T15 T61 T16 T43 T20 T72 T53 47 CUT CUT CUT CUT
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the halfway cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place

Team appearancesEdit



See alsoEdit


External linksEdit