Ames makes impact

MARK KEAST -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 6:54 AM ET

Stephen Ames last year told members of the Canadian Junior Golf Association they could count on him when it came to junior golf.

The PGA golfer and native of Trinidad and Tobago -- now a Canadian citizen -- is living up to his words.

Ames opened his own pocketbook to help set up the inaugural Stephen Ames Cup that kicks off this morning at the Granite Club in Stouffville. The event came together as a result of collective efforts by Ames, the CJGA, IMG and Nike Golf, which is sponsoring it.

Ames yesterday also spoke about his longer-term plans to help junior golf in Canada. "Through the CJGA, we're trying to develop a package or facility across Canada that's similar to Australia or Sweden, which has wonderful facilities for developing golfers," he said. "Richard (Zokol), Mike (Weir), and all the other Canadian professionals can help in that sense."

Zokol, national spokesperson for the CJGA, also in attendance yesterday, has been successful in leveraging his relationshops with fellow Canadian PGAers to get them more involved in junior golf in Canada, a key moment in the evolution of the CJGA, says Danny Fritz, the organization's chief operating officer.

The Stephen Ames Cup is a Ryder Cup-style competition where the top eight players aged 11-19 from Trinidad and Tobago go up against Team Canada compised of players from the CJGA.

The members of the Canadian team qualified through the first eight events of the CJGA Nike Golf Junior Series, a 10-tournament series that's nationwide, and wraps up with the championship Aug. 23-25 at Bayview Golf and Country Club in Thornhill.

This week's event tees off this morning at 6:30 a.m., and runs until Saturday.


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