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Mark James battles back against cancer

A five-month battle against cancer does not appear to have diminished Mark James' resentment of the 'weak' officials who he insists forced him to quit as Ryder Cup vice-captain.

James, captain for the European defeat at Brookline in 1999, fell ill just weeks after a series of rows led to his resignation from his new post ahead of this year's clash with the Americans.

Chemotherapy treatment and two major operations to remove a melon-sized tumour in his stomach have enabled 47-year-old James to reveal he intends returning to the European Tour in May.

But he will do so still bitter about the circumstances that led to his removal as Ryder Cup vice-captain following the publication of his controversial book on the Brookline event.

James said: "I was not going to resign and give the impression that I was fed up with all the hassle. I wanted the Ryder Cup Committee to make clear that they were forcing me to resign.

"The saddest thing is that I knew the committee would behave like that. They are so weak and out of touch with the current players."

One of the major issues that led to James' decision was the revelation in his book 'Into The Bearpit' that the European team had thrown a good luck message from Nick Faldo, who had not been selected to play, in the bin.

Mark James, back for the PGA at Wentworth. Allsport.

"They (the committee) just wanted the whole row between Nick and me to go away. They looked for the easiest way and decided on my resignation," said James.

"They got Sam Torrance (the 2001 captain) to phone me. I have not even heard officially from the committee about their decision."

Faldo was among the many players who sent James a get-well message as he and his wife Jane came to terms with his illness, which he initially revealed was lymphoma but was later identified as testicular cancer which had spread to his abdomen.

"It was 10 inches long and four inches across. I did not ask how deep, it was too depressing. The size of a decent melon," James told the Daily Mail.

"Your priorities change in an instant and the priority for us both was getting me better. You suddenly find yourself with a chance that you might not live, let alone play golf again."

But having been given a clean bill of health he is about to resume training and has targeted his comeback tournament.

James said: "I plan to get into the gym next week but I will not be able to swing a club until mid-April. I aim to make the Volvo PGA at Wentworth in May my first event."




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