James' Rider Cup Role To Be Debated

Monday, July 31st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) — With his book still raising a ruckus, Mark James' role as a vice captain in the next Ryder Cup will be discussed Tuesday during a meeting of Europe's cup committee.

James has been criticized for his book, ``Into the Bear Pit,'' which chronicles his year as captain and includes sharp attacks on Nick Faldo, Tony Jacklin and the American team's behavior during its comeback to win the cup last September.

Sam Torrance will be Europe's captain for the 2001 matches at The Belfry, but he asked James — his good friend — and Ian Woosnam to be vice captains.

``From the moment the first extract appeared, it has initiated a controversy,'' Sandy Jones, executive director of the European PGA, told the Times of London. ``It is a certainty that we shall discuss the issue of Mark's role in the Ryder Cup. I can't say what we will do, but we will debate the rights and wrongs.''

In his book, James describes 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 is vacationing in Spain and will not be at the meeting, while Faldo is playing The International on the PGA Tour in Colorado this week.

Torrance has continued to back James since excerpts of the book were first published two months ago, and there has been some speculation that he would step down as captain if James was forced out.

Neil Coles, who will preside over the meeting Tuesday, said he did not think James would lose his position.

``The problem is it was Sam's choice to pick Mark for vice captain, not the committee's,'' Coles told the Times. ``I am happy with what Sam decides. We do have the power to overrule Sam but I do not think we will exercise that power.''