Ames likes his chances ... next year

STEVE BUFFERY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:55 AM ET

OAKVILLE -- Calgary pro Stephen Ames is hopeful, of course, that he, or any of the other Canadians in the field this week, can break the 55-year drought.

Not since Pat Fletcher in 1954 has a Canadian won the Canadian Open, although Mike Weir came excruciatingly close in 2004 at Glen Abbey when he lost to Vijay Singh in a playoff.

However, it that doesn't happen at Glen Abbey on Sunday -- and the odds are high that it won't -- Ames is more confident that he might be able to pull it off next year, when the Open moves to St. George's in Etobicoke, a course he loves.

"It's a great golf course," he said. "If they set it up correctly, you could see level par winning there easily because it's that tough of a golf course.

"It's an old-time golf course," the Trinidad & Tobago born golfer added. "With so many strong holes. It's unbelievable."

Ames, 44, has not won on the PGA Tour since 2007 but has posted three top-10 finishes this year, including last month at the U.S. Open, where he finished tied for 10th. He failed to make the cut at the British Open.

Every time he and Weir arrive at the Canadian Open, they're inundated with questions as to when a Canadian will finally win. But Ames said he doesn't mind, adding that the fan support is like a "15th club in our bag," although he and Weir are expected to do more in terms of interacting with the fans, which neither seems to mind.

"Thousands of autographs," Ames said. "I've gone through two pens in the last two days. It's amazing. But you don't stop. Some guys do, but I don't. It takes a lot of your time, but you just have to be patient. To some extent, it's their day."

Ames said winning the Canadian Open would be like winning a major for a Canuck.

And speaking of Canadiana, Ames said he was honoured to be selected as a torch bearer for the 2010 Winter Olympics when it goes through Calgary prior to the Games. Ames said that he plans to take his family to watch some of the Olympics live.

Though born in the Caribbean, Ames was aware that Canada hosted the Games previously in 1988 in Calgary and 1976 in Montreal, adding that 1976 was particularly memorable for him as countryman Hasley Crawford won track's 100-metre event.


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