That was Ames-azing!

KEN FIDLIN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 6:22 PM ET

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Sometimes statistics lie. And sometimes they tell you everything you need to know.

The truth of just how remarkable the round of golf played yesterday by Calgary's Stephen Ames to win The Players Championship is in the numbers.

On a day when TPC Sawgrass played to a stroke average of 75.4, just about as tough as it has been in its 25- year history, Ames blew away the field with a round of 67 to win by six strokes over South African Retief Goosen. Four players -- Jim Furyk, Camillo Villegas, Pat Perez and Henrik Stenson -- tied at five-under.

"It was like a walk in the park," Ames said when it was over.

While all around him some of the game's best players were going from one calamity to the next, Ames walked above it all.

"It was a great day," he said. "Overall, it was just a matter of me getting out of my own way. I put myself in another gear this week.

"I was in another place that I've felt only a couple of times in my career, but never for four days as I did this week."

There were only two other rounds recorded in the 60s yesterday, both 69s, one authored by Brad Faxon and the other by Goosen. That's how far Ames separated himself from most of the field.

The fact that he did it playing in the final pairing with Vijay Singh after sleeping on the overnight lead makes it even more impressive.

"My hat is off to him," fellow Canadian Mike Weir said. "That is great playing. It was an impressive win against this field. He has got to be proud of himself. It's fantastic."

Weir's final-round 79 was a disaster for him after his scintillating 68 on Saturday put him in contention. But Weir had plenty of company. He was among 27 players who shot 77 or higher in the fourth round.

"I was really ready to play," Weir said. "I felt very calm. But that bad break on No. 4 kind of set the tone."

After scrambling for par-saves on his first two holes, Weir's day went south and he never recovered.

He bogeyed the par-3 third, then hit his second shot into the greenside water at the par-4 fourth on his way to a triple-bogey seven.

"You know, I didn't feel like I played that badly," Weir said with a smile on his face. "I hit bad tee shots on (Nos. 2 and 10). And some mud on my ball at the fourth caused it to come out squirrely."

Ames made only one misstep. At the 10th he, too, caught a bit of mud on his ball and ended up making double bogey from a greenside bunker. He made five birdies and even eagled the par-5 16th.

"I wasn't nervous at all," said Ames, who went into the final round leading by one. "It felt like a practice round."

Perhaps. But nobody ever received a cheque for $1.44 million US following a practice round. In the end, this being professional golf, that's the statistic that counts most.


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