Ames forgoes preferred break to play Masters - Golf - Sport - The Independent

Ames forgoes preferred break to play Masters

Not content with stunning the golfing world once by making the game's best look rather silly at the Players' Championship here on Sunday, Stephen Ames was at it again yesterday.

But if his six-shot victory in the "fifth major" stretched incredulity, then his revelation that he had almost turned down the chance to play in next week's Masters defied belief. The invite to Augusta is a supposedly glittering by-product of his saunter at Sawgrass, but this 41-year-old is not impressed. He wanted to go on holiday instead.

"I didn't have any plans of playing at Augusta," said the Canadian citizen who was born in Trinidad. "It was something I had to talk to my family about before I made that decision - with the kids and my wife. We are going to go [to the Masters]. I'd rather go on vacation, to be truthful. In the end I have listened to them."

After his spectacular triumph, Ames met up with his family in Orlando, where the reunion must have been emotional. Last July, his wife underwent an operation to remove half of her lung after being diagnosed with cancer. "It's been a difficult year," said Ames, who is of English descent through his father. "This was going to be a wonderful holiday home [to Trinidad] but their dad is now going to play in another golf tournament."

The Masters is not just "another golf tournament", although, in the light of his private life - not to mention the fact he now has a three-year exemption to play in the season's first major as well as the Open - Ames' apparent indifference is understandable.

There may be more to it, however, as although he insisted yesterday that he has nothing against Augusta, a few comments last month hint at a sizeable disaffection. Then the former European Tour regular lambasted the Georgia authorities for adding too much length to the course and "playing into the hands of the top players". He even went as far to imply that it had been specifically set up for Tiger Woods. Now that the newly-ranked world No 27 is a "top player", he has obviously seen fit to change his mind.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent