Hacked, but returning; Ames leaves Calgary and Shaw Charity Classic

Stephen AmesYep, got hacked. It is the golf equivalent of getting caught in long rough and trying to slash your way out. The more we tried to fix it, the bigger the problems became. So we are going to relaunch the site in the next while.

In the meantime, we’re largely back and operating.

I spent last week working as a producer/writer at the Shaw Charity Classic in Calgary for the third year. It is a really tremendous tournament, with tons of support in the city. The crowds look like Canadian Open galleries, suggesting that if Mickelson National, the new course that will open in a couple of years, hits the mark, Calgary could finally get its PGA Tour event.

I wrote about former Calgary resident Stephen Ames for Global Golf Post, who left the city after a split with his wife last year.

CALGARY—Stephen Ames hasn’t had a lot to smile about in the last year, but as he leaves the 18th green following the pro-am at the Champions Tour’s Shaw Charity Classic he breaks into a wide, toothy grin. Or maybe it is a smirk—after all Ames is walking to address a scrum of local reporters, something he’s never been particularly fond of doing. He’s had an uneasy relationship with Calgary’s media for more than a decade after some less than glowing remarks Ames made about Tiger Woods ended up in a local paper.

But Ames is in an affable mood. Now 51, Ames says he’s enjoying his stint as a full-time Champions Tour player.

“Wait—let me think about,” Ames says, his voice dripping with his usual sarcasm. “Who wouldn’t? Wow—three round events, everybody gets paid, and after a round of golf you sit down and have a glass of wine with all the guys and their wives. Are you kidding me? It’s fun out here.”

Ames and fun haven’t exactly been synonymous lately. The golfer has faced a tumultuous period of his life since turning 50, which saw him separate from his wife last year, moving away from Calgary. He relocated to Vancouver with his two teenage boys to create some distance, putting his family’s home on the market for $8-million in the process. He no longer has much of a connection to Calgary, where he lived for two decades, despite local reporters talking about the Shaw Charity Classic as a home game. Ames plays along, talking about sleeping in his own bed, but that’s not the case.

I also interviewed second round leader Miguel Angel Jimenez, who after shooting 61 in the second round went into the clubhouse and cooked prawns for anyone interested.

Finally I spent a bit of time with Colin Montgomerie, who eventually finished second in the tournament, and was friendly and affable, quite the contrary to his reputation.


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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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