Ryder Cup Vice Captain James Quits

Tuesday, August 1st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) — Mark James resigned as European Ryder Cup vice captain on Tuesday amid fallout from a book in which he criticized Nick Faldo, Tony Jacklin and the behavior of the American team.

The decision came after the Ryder Cup committee met with Sam Torrance, who will captain the 2001 Ryder team and appointed James and Ian Woosnam as his assistants.

James captained Europe in the 1999 competition in which the United States won in Brookline, Mass.

Torrance will remain captain for the biennial matches next year at the Belfry, England. He had repeatedly sided with James, a good friend, as calls increased for him to resign.

Torrance said he was told by the six-man Ryder Cup committee that James should resign. He said he then talked with James, who is on vacation in Spain.

``I have been advised by the committee that, in the best interests of the Ryder Cup, the only way to end this controversy is for Mark to step down from his position as assistant,'' Torrance said.

``Neither of us wishes to lose sight of the fact that the Ryder Cup match should be played in the best possible spirit of sportsmanship and without rancor. That is the last thing we need is for added controversy which might adversely affect our buildup to the Ryder Cup.

``Mark and I agree that there seems to be no end in sight to the controversy. Therefore, the most sensible course of action for all concerned is for Mark to stand down, which he agreed to do.''

In his book ``Into the Bear Pit,'' James described how he trashed a good-luck note sent by Faldo, who was left off the Ryder Cup team for the first time since 1975.

Faldo said James breached the European tour's code of conduct by making disparaging comments about other players. The tournament committee met three weeks ago and voted 10-0 in support of James as a vice captain.

James is chairman of that committee and stayed during the vote.

James was vacationing in Spain on Tuesday and was not at the meeting. Faldo was playing The International on the PGA Tour in Colorado.

Attending the meeting were the six committee members: Neil Coles, John O'Leary, Angel Gallardo, David Huish, Phil Weaver and Jim Christine.

They were joined by European tour executive director Ken Schofield, Ryder Cup director Richard Hills, Ryder Cup official Mike Gray, Sandy Jones, who is chief executive of the PGA at The Belfry, and Torrance.