Calgary’s Stephen Ames is coming home.
The PGA Tour winner, who will be inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame later this month, has announced he’ll play in the Shaw Charity Classic on the Champions Tour in two weeks in Calgary at Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to tee it up at home here in Calgary for the Shaw Charity Classic,” Ames said. “Many of us worked very hard for a long time to bring an event of this calibre to this market. It will be truly satisfying for me to finally get a chance to compete in front of my friends and family.”
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Ames, who turned 50 and became eligible for the Champions Tour in April, is making only his second start on the tour. Ames, who was raised in Trinidad, but has called Calgary home for two decades and is a Canadian citizen, was part of the group that created the award-winning tournament.
He had hoped to play his way into the FedEx Cup which runs at the same time as the Shaw touranment, but has struggled this season and seems pleased to be playing on the Champions Tour, where many think he’ll have significant success.
“I absolutely loved it,” Ames says of his lone Champions Tour start. “The guys on the Champions Tour very much mean business and are very competitive. There are a lot of career wins out here, but everyone remains very driven and has an appreciation for the work they have put in to get to this stage of their career. One thing that never leaves any of us is that we still want to play well. We still want to win. I would take great pride in doing both in Calgary.”
An outspoken athlete who brought Sean Foley, now Tiger Woods’ swing doctor, to the attention of the best on the PGA Tour, Ames has nearly $20-million in lifetime earnings on the PGA Tour. He is most noted for winning the Players Championship with a stunning final round in 2006.
“Stephen has played a key role in helping the Patron Group bring the Champions Tour back to Calgary, and to have him compete in this event at home, will be a real treat for our spectators,” said Sean Van Kesteren, tournament director, Shaw Charity Classic. “Stephen is a big-time player, and one of the best ball strikers on the PGA Tour. Having him in the field playing in front of his fellow-Calgarians will make this year’s tournament extra special.”
Ames joins the likes of champion Rocco Mediate, Masters winner Mark O’Meara, British Open winner Tom Lehman and Bernard Langer, the leading money winner on the Champions Tour, at the Calgary tournament, which runs from Aug. 29-31.