Stephen Ames Battles Through Tough Conditions for Runner-Up Finish
Stephen Ames notched his career-best result at a PGA Tour Champions major after finishing runner-up at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship.
His second-place finish was the best by a Canadian at the KitchenAid Senior PGA.
Ames, a two-time winner on PGA Tour Champions, shot a 1-under 70 Sunday to finish three shots back of the 2022 KitchenAid Senior PGA winner, Steven Alker.
“I’m not disappointed in my result at all,” said Ames.
The 58-year-old was in the final group Sunday with countryman Mike Weir and 2017 KitchenAid Senior PGA winner Bernard Langer. Ames was 2 under through three holes but made a few late bogeys. He was eventually leapfrogged by Alker, whose 8-under 63 tied the lowest final round by a winner in championship history.
The effort from Alker was made even more impressive with what Mother Nature served up on Sunday, Ames said.
“Very windy and obviously in a different direction as well,” he explained. “Golf course played different. Lines and clubs different off the tee, but I think everybody adjusted well. Obviously… some better than others.”
Despite falling just short of the title at Harbor Shores, this marked Ames’ fifth top-10 finish in 2022 in just nine events.
The next major on the PGA Tour Champions calendar is the U.S. Senior Open, where Ames was in the final group on Sunday a year ago as well.
“Here I am another major, finishing second,” said Ames. “It’s a step in the right direction, moving closer to No. 1.”
Weir, meanwhile, finished tied for fourth. It’s his second top-5 result at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship in a row and his best finish of the season.
Weir started the day two shots back of the lead and made three birdies on Sunday but couldn’t quite make the charge he needed to find the winner’s circle.
Weir and Ames were looking to become the first Canadians to win the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship.
Weir won eight times on the PGA Tour including the 2003 Masters while Ames won four times including The Players Championship in 2006.
This is the second time in 12 months that Ames and Weir were coming down to the wire together. Ames’ last PGA Tour Champions victory came at the Principal Charity Classic in June 2021, where he topped Weir by one shot.