Canadians March Up the Leaderboard Friday at Harbor Shores
Canadian golfers went ‘north’ on the leaderboard during the second round of the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship.
Through 36 holes Stephen Ames is tied for the lead with Scott McCarron at 8 under while Mike Weir sits just two shots back heading into the weekend at Harbor Shores.
They’re both looking to become the first Canadian to win a major on PGA Tour Champions.
Ames shot a 5-under 66 on Friday, tied for the low round of the day. He bounced back after a double bogey on the par-3 4th by going 6 under for his final 10 holes. This is his first major championship start of the season.
In his first Major Championship start of the season, Stephen Ames has a share of the lead after his Friday round. @KitchenAid_Golf | #SrPGA pic.twitter.com/4JIovDSdCE— KitchenAid Senior PGA Champ (@seniorpgachamp) May 27, 2022
Ames said he played the same as Thursday’s opener but had “two bad swings” in the first round. Those were eliminated for Friday.
“But that’s golf,” said Ames. “Two bad swings, and it cost me two doubles, unfortunately, but overall, I’m happy with the way things have progressed.”
These days, Ames said, he’s working hard with a psychologist on the mental aspect of his game.
“It’s always about the mental part, not the physical part. That’s what we try to get out. Just try to get out of our own way, basically,” said Ames. “Putting has been a bit of an issue the six events that I've played. I've had opportunities but I couldn't make the putts to close things out.
“Those things I've put in place this week that I've been working on, and it's coming out, which is nice. It's freed me up quite a bit.”
Weir, meanwhile, shot an even-par 71. He made back-to-back birdies as he made the turn, but struggled to close out his day, making bogey on No’s 17 and 18. He sits at 6 under and is tied for third with Bernhard Langer, Steven Alker, and Brian Gay.
Defending champion Alex Cejka is in the group a shot further back.
Weir said he was “fighting his alignment” on Friday and the one or two bad swings cost him at the end of his day.
“Yesterday I seemed to step into it really nicely and find my alignment just fine. Today I was a little bit off, so I'll work on that,” said Weir. “It was a day of just kind of hanging in there – some totally different golf course, south wind to north wind and cold. The ball wasn't traveling today as far so you had to adjust for that.
“It was just tough. The guys who shot some good numbers today, Ames and Scotty McCarron, that's really good scoring this morning because it played tough out there.”
McCarron tied Ames with his own 5-under 66.
Weir has won once on PGA Tour Champions while Ames has notched two victories since turning 50. Ames won four times on the PGA Tour, including The Players Championship in 2006, while Weir won eight times including the 2003 Masters.
Weir said, despite the fact he’s chasing his countryman heading into the weekend he likes where he’s at.
“My iron play has been pretty darned good, so if I can straighten it out a little bit off the tee… my putting has been feeling better, so yeah, I just like the position I’m in,” said Weir. “There’s lots of golf left. I’m not really thinking about if I’m in the lead or behind – I like the position I’m in.”
Funny enough: This is not the first time the Canadian duo has been this close together on a PGA Tour Champions leaderboard. Last year at the Principal Charity Classic Ames edged Weir by one shot to win for the second time on the over-50 circuit.
Weir is also looking to become the first left-handed golfer to with the KitchenAid Senior PGA.
There were two other Canadians in the field at the 2022 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship: David Morland IV and Kevin Baker. They both missed the cut.