Ames understands Weir pick

DEAN MCNULTY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:01 AM ET

STOUFFVILLE -- When Calgary's Stephen Ames ballooned Sunday to a 76 in the final round of the PGA Championship after a 68-69-69 start, he wasn't thinking about being overlooked by Gary Player as a captain's choice for next month's Presidents Cup at the Royal Montreal golf course.

It wasn't until Monday, when he was left off the Presidents Cup International team in favour of Mike Weir, that Ames wondered aloud how Player came to his decision.

In fact, he said he had been fairly optimistic that he would be picked, considering his world ranking had him ahead of Weir -- 36th to 46th -- and he is even further in front of the 2003 Masters champion in the 2007 Fedex Cup point standings -- 4,767 to 3,556.

"Stats show that Mike hasn't been playing his best golf," Ames said yesterday at a media gathering to launch the Canadian Junior Golf Association tournament between Canada and his native Trinidad-Tobago at the Granite Golf Club. "But (Weir) does have the experience of playing in three previous Presidents Cups, so I guess that is why he was chosen."

Ames was forceful, however, in his opinion that Weir still was a great player, but he was disappointed that he wouldn't be representing his adopted country.

"I knew that because it was being played in Canada that there would be at least one Canadian named to the team," he said. "I just would have loved to be that Canadian."

As for his meltdown at Southern Hills, Ames said it simply was a matter of him not doing what was needed to be done.

"I knew what rut I fell into," he said. "I was standing on the 16th tee and realized that I was doing things the way I was when my game was suffering. Once I figured that out I had a birdie and two pars to finish off the round."

Ames said that just by being in the final pairing in the season's final major tournament was a satisfying achievement. But he wishes he could have been more of a challenge to playing partner and winner Tiger Woods.

"I was happy for Tiger," he said. "My heart was there for him, getting the win after a pair of seconds (at the Masters and British Open)."

Former tour player Richard Zokol jumped into the fray yesterday to defend Ames from questioners who asked about both the PGA result and not making the Presidents Cup team.

"Just the fact that Stephen Ames is here attending this tournament after what transpired in the past two days says a lot about who he is," Zokol said. "He is here as a shining example to young golfers from two countries when he could be (playing) in North Carolina earning Fedex Cup points."

The youngsters will take to the Granite Club's manicured fairways today through Friday in match play to determine the winner of the Stephen Ames Cup.


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