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Mark James decision inevitable & avoidable

Mark James’s decision to stand down as Ryder Cup vice-captain was as inevitable as it was avoidable.

The blunt northerner’s position was untenable the moment his diary of last year’s competition at Brookline hit the bookstand.

It was one thing to slate your opponent for behaviour which clearly went beyond conventional limits even when the issue should really have been dead and buried. But to criticise players, some of whom could be needed at the Belfry next year, wasseen in golfing circles as crass.

In Into the Bear Pit, James said the USteam whipped up the home crowd to distract the European players. He wrote: "Long before the horrors of the 17th green forever labelled the worst in the competition’s history - I became aware that things were not what they should be. It seemed the Americans had decided that if they were going to whip our backsides then they would have to whip up the crowd. Lehman started it.

"He came to the tee fairly late to be greeted with loudcheers and shouts of encouragement. When the noises subsided the faint strains of God Bless America could be heard, sung by a handful of people standing on a small knoll 50 yards from the tee.

"Although the singing had stopped, he walked over towards them and started to encourage them into an encore. Lehman’s behaviour was not only unnecessary,but also extremely band manners."

James accepted high office and the golfing community believes heshould have remained silent, no matter what his personal feelings towards Nick Faldo were.

In the book, James accuses Faldo of"treason" for his attack on Colin Montgomery less than a fortnight before the Ryder Cup. He wrote: "The outburst came at such a crucial time that I can only think it was directly designed to undermine the team’s chances.It the eyes of the team it was unpardonable."

Mark James resignation was inevitable following the publication of his controversial book. Allsport

Faldo allegedly told the team that Montgomery enjoyed "fat cheques", by implication accusing the Scot of valuing money over major championships, such as the Open or the Ryder Cup.

James adds: "To insultMonty the way Faldo did was stupid and not one person in the team room had the slightest bit of sympathy with his sentiments."

Only two weeks ago at St Andrews, James was expressing his wish that the issue should be put to rest.He must be ruing the daythe PGA Tour did not decide to do this when they unanimously supported their man just a week before the Open Championships.

Even when the PGA verdict went against him, Faldo insisted on continuing the fight and yesterday’sdecision by James is a vindication of Faldo’sstance.


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