England (Midlands) Region
12 Mar 15
Popular PGA Professional and tour player Jim Rhodes has died at the age of 69 after a long battle with cancer.
The Cannock-born pro turned professional in 1963 and was head pro at South Staffs and served in both captain and chairman roles for the PGA in England (Midlands).
PGA career highlights included winning the European Club Professionals Championship in 1987 and the Senior PGA Professional Championship in 2000.
Jim also enjoyed great success on the European Senior Tour, where his wife Pauline often caddied for him, winning three times and was one of a select group to earn more than €1million in prize money.
In 2010 he had chalked up a then record for the most number of appearances on the Senior Tour after reaching 262 by the end of the season.
His won his first stroke play victory in the 2004 Jersey Seniors Classic at La Moye Golf Club after going back to using the putter that brought him victory in the 2001 SSL International/Sodexho Match Play Championship.
He revealed that he bought the putter in 1966 and was one of a collection of about 70 he kept at home.
Alongside his successful playing career, Rhodes was also an important and influential member of the Senior Tour Committee from 1999 to 2013, when he had to step down due to ill-health.
PGA chief executive Sandy Jones said: “It was with great sadness that I received the news of Jim’s death. He was a passionate PGA Member and served the game well in every aspect.
“He was a fine player which was certainly evidenced when he joined the European Senior Tour and had outstanding success.
“Jim worked hard for his fellow professionals, serving on regional committee, always offering wise counsel and great insight into the game.
“We pass on our condolences to all his family and he will be missed by the game and all who knew him.”
Andy Stubbs, managing director of the European Senior Tour, led the tributes to the popular player.
He said: “Jim’s contribution to the European Senior Tour cannot be underestimated, both in terms of his playing career and his 14 years as part of the Senior Tour committee.
“Jim rarely missed a meeting during that period and he played an important role in helping to grow the Senior Tour. He was a popular figure amongst his fellow professionals and also a very consistent player, finishing inside the top 20 on the Order of Merit six times.
“Our thoughts are with his wife Pauline and daughter Jenny, both of whom caddied for Jim over the years.”
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