Ames is proud to be Canadian

STEVE BUFFERY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:42 AM ET

OAKVILLE -- Having been born in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad & Tobago, it has been suggested that Stephen Ames is as Canadian as sugar cane, not maple syrup.

But Ames, in a moment of patriotic pride yesterday, insisted that he is Canadian to the core, and is eager to become the first resident of this country to win the Canadian Open since Pat Fletcher did back in 1954.

"I think there's still a lot of folks wondering," said Ames, when asked if he is widely recognized as a Canadian. "Actually, a couple players asked me this morning: 'Are you Canadian?' Uh, yeah, I'm Canadian. I've been in Canada for almost 17 years and a Canadian citizen for five. Canada has been home for the last 17 years for me and I've lived in Calgary for 17 years and I'm on my third home now in Calgary."

While Bright's Grove native Mike Weir was born here, Ames is the only regular on the PGA Tour who makes his home in the Great White North.

And he's probably much more of a favourite this week to break the 54-year slump than Weir. Ames, 44, has not won on the PGA Tour since 2007, but he has posted five top-10 performances this season, including a third-place finish at the Mercedes-Benz Championship, and tied for seventh at the British Open last week.

With five of the past six, as well as the next two, Opens being held in the Toronto area (Glen Abbey next year and St. George's in 2010), the RCGA has been criticized for not moving the event around the country enough, and Ames said he can understand that. On the other hand, he said most of the best courses in the country, particularly ones suitable for a PGA event, are located in this area.

"I believe it should moved around. I'd love it to be in Calgary, but we'd need a golf course that's almost 8,000 yards long because we're 3,500 feet (above sea level) there," Ames said.


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