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Mark James to account for book comments

Faldo speaks out over James book row

James' Ryder Cup future in Sam's hands

James & Lehman in war of words over book

Mark James must have been relieved as he drove away from the Forest of Arden on Sunday, free at last from the barrage of criticism that had been levelled at him after his revelations in a controversial forthcoming book about his experiences as the Europe captain in the Ryder Cup last September. But the respite will last only until tomorrow night, when he goes into the first of three pivotal meetings that will decide his future in two important jobs.

As chairman of the tournament committee, the link between the playing members of the PGA European Tour and Ken Schofield, the executive director of the tour, and his staff, James will be present at the players' annual meeting at Celtic Manor, where the Wales Open will start the next day.

Feelings are thought to be high among certain players after extracts from Into The Bear Pit appeared last week in a national newspaper, and this will provide them with the opportunity to call James to account.

There is a school of thought that James's position as the chairman of such an important committee is now untenable and he could well face a stiff grilling from his fellow players.

Nick Faldo has not always commanded the affection of some rank-and-file European Tour golfers, but a groundswell of opinion has been growing that James's attack on him, which included a reference to the fact that he had thrown a good-luck letter from the six-times major championship winner into the wastepaper bin was both ill-advised and vindictive.

Even if James escapes unscathed from the first meeting, his problems may not end there. The tournament committee is next due to meet on July 11 and although there has been no request as yet to move that date forward, it could still come. There have been no public calls for his resignation from the chairman's post, either, but that possibility should not be ruled out.

There are no plans to advance the date of the next meeting of the Ryder Cup committee, which is scheduled for the week of the Millennium Open championship at St Andrews. Sam Torrance, the captain of the 2001 match at The Belfry, appointed James as one of his vice-captains some weeks ago, but Faldo, for one, believes that he should not be allowed to remain in the position.

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