After increasing pressure from the public, the media, Nick Faldo and ultimately, the Ryder Cup Committee, Mark James has been forced to stand down as European Ryder Cup Captain.
After a lengthy meeting at the European Tour Headquarters at Wentworth, the six-man committee informed Captain Sam Torrance that in the best interests of the Ryder Cup, Mark James should resign as Vice Captain of the 2001 team.
Torrance informed James, who was on holiday in Spain, immediately after the news had broken.
James, who penned the controversial book, Into the bear pit where he admitted to throwing a good luck note from Nick Faldo in the bin along with criticising some of the American players about their behaviour at last years Ryder Cup, has now paid the ultimate price for what seems like a betrayal of trust.
Yesterday, Torrance said:
“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."
“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 rancour. That is the last thing we need is for added controversy which might adversely affect our build-up 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.”
Colin Montgomerie, European number One for the last seven years was surprised by the decision, but he wants the team to form a strong bond going into the next Ryder Cup.
He said: “I am very saddened that it has come to this, as Mark was a great Ryder Cup captain,” Montgomerie said. “Sam Torrance as captain always has, and always will have, my complete support. And let us all hope that we can now focus with Sam on regaining the Ryder Cup for Europe.”