Jim Simons (golfer)

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Jim Simons
Personal information
Full nameJames Bradley Simons
Born(1950-05-15)May 15, 1950
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
DiedDecember 8, 2005(2005-12-08) (aged 55)
Jacksonville, Florida
Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight175 lb (79 kg; 12.5 st)
NationalityFlag of the United States.svg  United States
Turned professional1972
Former tour(s) PGA Tour
Professional wins3
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour3
Best results in major championships
Masters Tournament T15: 1981, 1982
U.S. Open T5: 1971
The Open Championship DNP
PGA Championship T5: 1982

James Bradley Simons (May 15, 1950 December 8, 2005) was an American professional golfer who played on the PGA Tour in the 1970s and 1980s. [1] [2]

Professional golfer golfer with professional status; ordinarily cannot play in amateur tournaments

In the sport of golf, the distinction between amateurs and professionals is rigorously maintained. An amateur who breaches the rules of amateur status may lose their amateur status. A golfer who has lost their amateur status may not play in amateur competitions until amateur status has been reinstated; a professional may not play in amateur tournaments unless the Committee is notified, acknowledges and confirms the participation. It is very difficult for a professional to regain their amateur status; simply agreeing not to take payment for a particular tournament is not enough. A player must apply to the governing body of the sport to have amateur status reinstated.

PGA Tour Golf tour in the United States

The PGA Tour is the organizer of the main professional golf tours played primarily by men in the United States and North America. It organizes most of the events on the flagship annual series of tournaments also known as the PGA Tour, as well as PGA Tour Champions and the Web.com Tour, as well as PGA Tour Canada, PGA Tour Latinoamérica, and PGA Tour China. The PGA Tour is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, a suburb of Jacksonville.


Born in Pittsburgh, and raised in suburban Butler, Pennsylvania, Simons attended Knoch High School in Saxonburg [3] and later was a two-time All-American on the Wake Forest University golf team. He finished T-2 at the 1970 Canadian Amateur and finished runner-up at the 1971 British Amateur to Steve Melnyk.

Pittsburgh City in western Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh is a city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States, and is the county seat of Allegheny County. A population of about 301,048 residents live within the city limits, making it the 66th-largest city in the U.S. The metropolitan population of 2,324,743 is the largest in both the Ohio Valley and Appalachia, the second-largest in Pennsylvania, and the 27th-largest in the U.S.

Butler, Pennsylvania City in Pennsylvania, United States

Butler is a city and the county seat of Butler County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. It is located 35 miles (56 km) north of Pittsburgh and part of the Greater Pittsburgh Region. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 13,757. Butler was named the 7th best small town in America by Smithsonian magazine in May 2012.

Knoch High School is located in the South Butler County School District in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania. The school mascot is a knight, referring to them as; the "Knoch Knights". The Knoch Football team was a co-champion of the Greater Allegheny Conference in 2007, and in 2011, the Knights were the Greater Allegheny Conference Champion with a perfect regular season record of 9-0. They played in the WPIAL championship at Heinz Field, but lost to Montour High School, ending with a season record of 12-1. The principal is Mr. Todd Trofimuk. The athletics play in AAA under the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association. There are usually between 1,000 and 1,200 students in the high school, from 9th through 12th graders. The Knoch colors are blue and gold. Sports offered include Girls Volleyball, Football, Cross Country, Girls and Boys Soccer, Girls and Boys Tennis, Girls and Boys Basketball, Girls and Boys Swimming and Diving, Wrestling, Hockey, Baseball, Softball, Girls and Boys Track, and Boys and Girls Lacrosse. Their primary sports rivals are Mars, Pine Richland, and Highlands High Schools. Knoch Junior High School opened in 1958 and at that time had students from 7th through 12th Grade. In 1996 it was remodeled, and Knoch Middle School was created. This made Knoch High School have just 9th through 12th grade. The school is named Knoch because Eva Knoch donated the land for the school to be built on.

Simons is probably best remembered for nearly winning the U.S. Open in 1971 as an amateur. At the age of 21, he shot a third-round 65 to take a two-shot lead after 54 holes at Merion Golf Club near Philadelphia. That set up the possibility of Simons becoming the first amateur to win the event since Johnny Goodman in 1933. A stroke out of the lead on the final hole, his tee shot found the rough and he double bogeyed. Simons carded a 76 to finish tied for fifth, three shots out of the Monday playoff, won by Lee Trevino. [4]

U.S. Open (golf) golf tournament held in the United States

The United States Open Championship, commonly known as the U.S. Open, is the annual open national championship of golf in the United States. It is the third of the four major championships in golf, and is on the official schedule of both the PGA Tour and the European Tour. Since 1898 the competition has been 72 holes of stroke play, with the winner being the player with the lowest total number of strokes. It is staged by the United States Golf Association (USGA) in mid-June, scheduled so that, if there are no weather delays, the final round is played on the third Sunday. The U.S. Open is staged at a variety of courses, set up in such a way that scoring is very difficult, with a premium placed on accurate driving. As of 2019 the U.S. Open awards a $12.5 million purse, the largest of all 4 major championships and tied for largest of all PGA Tour events.

1971 U.S. Open (golf) golf tournament held in 1971

The 1971 U.S. Open was the 71st U.S. Open, held June 17–21 at the East Course of Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, a suburb northwest of Philadelphia. Lee Trevino, the 1968 champion, won his second U.S. Open, defeating Jack Nicklaus by three strokes in an 18-hole playoff. It was the second of Trevino's six major titles and the second of four times in which Nicklaus was the runner-up to Trevino in a major; Nicklaus won his third U.S. Open the following year.

An amateur, from French amateur "lover of", is generally considered a person who pursues a particular activity or field of study independently from their source of income. Amateurs and their pursuits are also described as popular, informal, self-taught, user-generated, DIY, and hobbyist.

Four years earlier, Simons qualified for the U.S. Open in 1967 at Baltusrol, played just after his junior year in high school. [3] At age 17, he shot 165 (+25) and missed the 36-hole cut by 17 strokes. [5]

1967 U.S. Open (golf) golf tournament held in 1967

The 1967 U.S. Open was the 67th U.S. Open, held June 15–18 at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey, west of New York City. Jack Nicklaus shot a final round 65 and established a new U.S. Open record of 275, four strokes ahead of runner-up Arnold Palmer, the 1960 champion. It was the second of Nicklaus' four U.S. Open titles and the seventh of his eighteen major championships.

Baltusrol Golf Club

The Baltusrol Golf Club is a private 36-hole golf club in the eastern United States, located in Springfield, New Jersey, about twenty miles (30 km) west of New York City. It was founded 124 years ago in 1895 by Louis Keller.

Simons won three PGA Tour events during his career and had over three dozen top-10 finishes; his final win came at Pebble Beach in early 1982. [6] [7] His best finish in a major championship in the professional ranks was later that year, a tie for fifth in the PGA Championship. [8] He was the first player to win a televised PGA Tour event using a metal driver.

The 1982 PGA Tour season was played from January 7 to October 31, and consisted of 44 official money events. Calvin Peete, Craig Stadler, and Tom Watson won the most tournaments, four, and there were five first-time winners. The tournament results, leaders, and award winners are listed below.

Mens major golf championships Four prestigious annual tournaments in professional golf

The men's major golf championships, commonly known as the major championships, often referred to simply as the majors, are the four most prestigious annual tournaments in professional golf. In order of play date as of 2019, they are:

1982 PGA Championship golf tournament held in 1982

The 1982 PGA Championship was the 64th PGA Championship, held August 5–8 at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Raymond Floyd won his second PGA Championship, three strokes ahead of runner-up Lanny Wadkins, the 1977 champion. A few weeks shy of age 40, Floyd shot an opening round 63 (−7) and led wire-to-wire to secure the third of his four major titles. He won his first PGA Championship thirteen years earlier, in 1969.

Simons played a handful of events on the Champions Tour after turning 50 in 2000. He was inducted into the Wake Forest University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1996.

The 2000 Senior PGA Tour was the 21st season since the Senior PGA Tour, now known as PGA Tour Champions, officially began in 1980. The season consisted of 39 official money events with purses totalling $54,850,000, including four majors. Larry Nelson won the most tournaments, six. The tournament results, leaders, and award winners are listed below.


Simons was found dead in the hot tub in his Jacksonville, Florida home at the age of 55. The Jacksonville/Duval County medical examiner's office ruled the cause of death as accidental "multiple drug toxicity". [2] [9]

Amateur wins

PGA Tour wins

No.DateTournamentWinning scoreTo parMargin
of victory
share ($)
1Apr 24, 1977 First NBC New Orleans Open 70-69-67-67=273−153 strokes35,000 Flag of the United States.svg Stan Lee
2May 21, 1978 Memorial Tournament 68-69-73-74=284−41 stroke50,000 Flag of the United States.svg Bill Kratzert
3Feb 7, 1982 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am 71-66-71-66=274−142 strokes54,000 Flag of the United States.svg Craig Stadler

PGA Tour playoff record (0–3)

11979 Buick-Goodwrench Open Flag of the United States.svg John Fought Lost to par on second extra hole
21980 Sammy Davis Jr.-Greater Hartford Open Flag of the United States.svg Howard Twitty Lost to birdie on sixth extra hole
31984 Bob Hope Desert Classic Flag of the United States.svg John Mahaffey Lost to par on second extra hole

Results in major championships

Masters Tournament
U.S. Open CUT
PGA Championship
Masters Tournament CUTT41CUTCUTT23
PGA Championship T60T25T46
Masters Tournament T19T15T15CUT
U.S. Open T22T58CUT
PGA Championship CUTCUTT5T30CUT

Note: Simons never played in The Open Championship.

  Top 10
  Did not play

LA = Low amateur
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place

U.S. national team appearances


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  1. Dulac, Gerry (December 15, 2005). "Obituary: Jim Simons / Golfer who nearly won '71 U.S. Open as amateur". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  2. 1 2 Fitzpatrick, Frank (May 12, 2013). "For 1971 Merion contender Jim Simons, life proved to be toughest course". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  3. 1 2 "Simons has high time at Baltusrol". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. June 15, 1967. p. 31.
  4. "Playoff today in Open". Palm Beach Post. UPI. June 21, 1971. p. C1. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  5. "Scally makes grade for U.S. Open finale". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. June 17, 1967. p. 31.
  6. "Simons claims Crosby title as Stadler falters". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. February 8, 1982. p. 23.
  7. "Great 66 round, Stadler blow up lifts Jim Simons". Spokane Chronicle. UPI. February 8, 1982. p. 20.
  8. "Golf Major Championships".
  9. Fields, Bill (February 6, 2006). "What happened to Jim Simons?". ESPN. Retrieved May 28, 2013.