|Stephen Ames puts on a golf clinic at the Annual Stephen Ames Cup presented by RBC, at the Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club in Calgary, Alta., Aug. 16, 2011. (STUART DRYDEN/QMI Agency)
CALGARY - Everybody has an opinion on Tiger Woods.
Theories abound: Woods is no longer the best golfer in the world because of his marital meltdown, or his injuries — notably the knee surgery and ruptured Achilles tendon he suffered in 2008 — or Father Time.
Stephen Ames, the Calgarian and four-time PGA Tour winner, believes time is a factor, but it’s more in the form of recovery.
“It’s just going to take him a while to get back,” Ames said Tuesday. “I think Tiger needs to find a balanced life. He’s going through all those different scenarios he’s gone through the last year and a half, and I don’t think he’s settled upstairs right now.”
At age 35, Woods is hardly over the hill. However, the dominant force who has 14 major titles is struggling in a way nobody saw coming a couple of years ago. Most recently, he missed the cut at the PGA Championship and finished 10-over through 36 holes.
Woods was the No.1-ranked golfer for five and a half years, but is on a path to outside the top 50 before the end of 2011.
Ames doesn’t believe the plummet will be so deep.
“Golf-swing wise, he looks 10 times better than he was before, when he was working with Hank (Haney). Sean (Foley) has done a wonderful job, and as Sean has mentioned before, he’s still not clear upstairs right now, and I think it’s going to be a while before he gets there,” Ames said.
“I think it’s tough when anybody goes through what he’s gone through, and to still be able to play golf is quite incredible, if you ask me.”
Then again, Ames has his own game to consider. It’s been a tough season for the 47-year-old, having made the cut in 10 of 18 tournaments.
“I’m hitting the ball extremely well, just not getting it in the hole,” said Ames, who plans to play the final four events of the season.
“I’ve had a rough season, like every Canadian I think, but it’s one of those seasons you look at, work on things and forget about.”
In the meantime, he’s happy to host the Stephen Ames Cup this week at the Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club, which runs Wednesday through Friday.
The event pits teenage players from Canada and Trinidad and Tobago — where he originally hails from — against each other in a Ryder Cup-style event.