Stephen Ames has never felt better physically or mentally, and his ball striking might be the best it’s ever been.
In other words, it’s the perfect time to return to Calgary.
Ames won last week’s Boeing Open for his fourth victory on the Champions Tour this season, putting him third in the Schwab Cup standings. He’ll be in the field on Thursday when his hometown hosts the Shaw Charity Classic.
“Oh, the confidence is there, there’s no doubt about that,” said Ames. “The fact that I know where I’m at and how to fix things instantly when I’m on the course, how to feel a little bit more relaxed playing golf and enjoying it, yeah. I’m in that zone
“Right now (my confidence), it’s helpful and it’s … probably helping me the most with my play right now.”
Ames also won the Trophy Hassan II on Feb. 11, the Mitsubishi Electric Classic on May 7 and the Principal Charity Classic on June 4 this season. But his seven-stroke victory on Sunday was perhaps the most impressive.
He said that the best way to keep that momentum rolling in Calgary aside from making sure he didn’t have too many celebratory drinks after winning the Boeing Open is to keep things simple.
“It’s always the process, trying to keep that as simple as you can and not worry about the result, which is what we’ve been doing very well this year,” said Ames. “At the end of the day you want to be as simple as you can be mentally, have simple thoughts, no thoughts, whatever you want it to be.
“Make it as simple as possible and then the rest of it just happens.”
There are three other Canadians in the field at Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club.
Mike Weir of Brights Grove, Ont., is the second-highest ranked Canadian on the Champions Tour at 38th in the standings. Alan McLean (No. 123) of London, Ont., and David Morland IV (No. 194) who’s originally from Aurora, Ont., will also play at the Shaw Charity Classic.
Ames has historically done well in Calgary but never won there. It’s his hope that his evolved mental approach will help him finally emerge victorious in his hometown.
“We tend to beat ourselves up a little bit too much as players,” he said. “You’ve got to take the day as it strides along or the week as it strides along.
“You’ve got to have your ups and then your downs and dealing with the downs is obviously very important. I think I’ve learned to do a good job of that over the years.”