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A serial winner on tour and on senior tours, four top 5 finishes in the Open, a Ryder Cup captaincy and a successful battle against ill health represent the strength of Mark James. From his English Amateur victory in 1974 to his Ryder Cup captaincy at Brookline in 1999, he has always been confident of his beliefs and has remained committed to the game and the task in hand throughout.

The 1999 Ryder Cup was probably one of the more infamous matches. A controversial few days, won by the USA, but marred by alleged over-zealous celebrations from the home team aswell as criticism for James regarding his wild card picks. Six-time Major winner, Faldo was not one of them and all three of James’ picks only played once and all lost. However, James would not change a thing and his book Into the Bear Pit is a fascinating read about all that happened that year.

The Ryder Cup also highlighted a slight troublemaker in James, as he and Ken Brown were fined following the 1979 Ryder Cup at Greenbrier. Brown was also banned. James played in a total of seven Ryder Cups representing Great Britain and Ireland, aswell as the now European team.

James was the first player to win a Senior Major title, the Senior Players Championship in 2004, winning by a stroke from José Maria Cañizares.

With 'Jesse', a popular member of the tour, there is always a wry smile and a dry sense of humour, as demonstrated from the commentator’s booth. Similar to his good friend, Sam Torrance, there is a good story to tell and having been part of a golf tour for five decades, there is plenty to talk about.

 

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Ryder Cup Captain 1999
Ryder Cups 7
European Tour Wins 18
Highest World Ranking 25
PGA Champions Tour Majors 1
European Senior Tour Wins 2
PGA Champions Tour Wins 2

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