This morning’s National Post has a column stemming from an [photopress:ames3.jpg,full,alignright]interview I conducted with Stephen Ames yesterday. You can find it here.
To me Ames is an interesting guy and a fun interview; to others, including some associates in the media, he’s an ass. I’ve always felt Stephen is often playing with reporters, trying to see what they’ll accept. I don’t accept much, and often push him on his more outlandish remarks. Typically he then clarifies his comments.
But there’s a long history of times he didn’t clarify those comments:
– When he claimed that no one on tour enjoyed playing with Tiger Woods. The quotes were made to Calgary reporter Bruce Dowbiggin in what Ames claimed was an off-the-record session. He hasn’t spoken to Dowbiggin since.
– The remarks he made at a Canadian Open two years ago that he might skip the Presidents Cup because he isn’t a strong match play golfer. He didn’t make the team.
– Calling the venue for this year’s Canadian Open “shitty,” and saying he could possibly skip the event if scheduling turns into a problem.
– Saying Tiger Woods wasn’t hitting his driver well heading into last year’s Match Play. He was then defeated by an apparently agitated Tiger in 10 holes.
Regardless, we spent a half hour talking yesterday and only a handful of quotes ended up in the paper. So I thought I’d let G4G readers in on some of the material that’s on my digital recorder, but didn’t make the story:
On growing up in Trinidad and how that influenced his outspoken nature:
You mean being yourself and being honest is not typical?
On his game with Sean Foley, his new coach:
It doesn’t take me long to get it back again and that’s the big turning point in working with Sean. I can take some time off and spend some time with my family and I can come back and get it back. It used to be a battle — it could take week. Now it is a lot better. It’ll always be a battle though — the battle is within.
On the stretch following the PGA Championship and leading to the Presidents Cup:
(Lots of laughter) Well I should have one week off and that’s when I’ll be in Toronto doing my Stephen Ames Cup. I’ll be busy. It is going to be tough. I’m going to have to stay on top of my fitness right through there. You can’t have anything go on you.
On Phil Mickelson:
Look at Phil — classic example there. He’s realized by the time the Ryder Cup comes around that he’s worn out. He’s done. Well yeah. He’s not in the best shape of all — subcutaneous fat. Anyhow (laughter). For a world class player that he is he should be in much better shape. And he’s not. I don’t think he abuses himself, he just hasn’t bothered. And now he has to do something about it.
On the Ryder Cup:
Oh, the Americans — it has been an embarrassment for them. And I don’t know if they’ll ever win again. It’ll be so tough for them. It is interesting now that the International team (in the Presidents Cup) is the toughest team to get on. I’d love to be on it — I wouldn’t have to do anything as the rest of the guys would.
On Swedish players:
They are out there. They are hungry. But they are a clique-like group. If you aren’t one of their boys, you aren’t getting in there.
On the PGA Tour:
Over here — it is who cares. I’ve made $5 million or whatever it is and I’ve done it my own way. I don’t have close friends on tour. I have guys who are on my team, but I do my own thing. I like it that way.