Golfer James in cancer battle

Former European Ryder Cup captain Mark James has cancer and is to undergo chemotherapy, it has been announced.

Former European Ryder Cup captain Mark James has cancer and is to undergo chemotherapy, it has been announced.

The 46-year-old Englishman has withdrawn from the next five tournaments on the European Tour to receive treatment.

"I have been diagnosed with lymphoma and, pending further tests, expect to be starting chemotherapy soon," James said.

Lymphoma is cancer of the lymphatic system, which conveys electrolytes, water, proteins and other fluids into the blood stream. The cancer can spread quickly to other parts of the body without treatment.

"Mark James is an outstanding individual with tremendous resilience and we know that he wil face whatever challenges that might lie ahead with great courage and commitment," European Tour executive director Ken Schofield said in a statement.

James captained the European Ryder Cup team in 1999, when the United States managed a stunning come-from-behind victory on the final day.

James was highly critical of the US team for openly celebrating after a 45-ft putt by Justin Leonard on the 17th green.

James was selected as Sam Torrance's vice captain for the 2001 Ryder team. But he was forced to resign after the controversy over his book Into the Bear Pit, which chronicled the '99 Ryder Cup.

The book harshly criticized Nick Faldo, former European Ryder Cup captain Tony Jacklin and the behaviour of the US team.

Faldo led calls for James' resignation.

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