An Interview With: Stephen Ames

JULIUS MASON: Stephen Ames, ladies and gentlemen, in at 5-under at the 83rd PGA Championship. Some thoughts on your round today and we'll go through your card and we'll go to Q & A, please.

STEPHEN AMES: Today it was good ball-striking. Driver was exceptionally good again, driver and 3-wood, all of the tee balls, basically. Iron play was a bit shaky at times and putter was a bit shake at times. Other than that, I hung in there well to shoot the score I did, considering the fact that they moved all the tee boxes all the way back.

JULIUS MASON: Let's go through your card real quick.

STEPHEN AMES: On 1, I hit 3-wood, sand wedge to about 35 feet and made that.

2, I hit driver, 3-wood 15 feet two, putted for birdie.

Then 5, I played the hole the wrong way when I hit driver, sand wedge, 2-iron about 15 feet and made birdie there.

Then 7, 3-putted for bogey.

8, hit a great drive there, just a bad second shot into the trap on the left there and made bogey.

9, driver, 7-iron to 25 feet and made birdie there.

11, I 3-putted from about four feet for double there.

Then 16, I hit driver, 3-iron pin-high right, chipped and putted for birdie.

Q. Were the holes cut as you expected them to be, more difficult than yesterday?

STEPHEN AMES: I would say all of them were cut exceptionally difficult. There were a couple that were on some slopes where you had to worry about your speed more than anything else. You couldn't really charge at the putts.

What played really difficult was the length of the golf course. It was a major difference from the first day. All of the tough golf holes were forward, and then today they were all on the back again.

Q. And what about wind?

STEPHEN AMES: I think the wind was basically about the same as it was yesterday afternoon when I played, and it's starting to pick up now, maybe a little bit more but not much.

Q. You obviously headed into Troon with a lot of confidence after the Western and things didn't go like you planned there. What did you do between now and then, and did you come in this week also with that same level of confidence?

STEPHEN AMES: Well, I went into Troon, I was playing well, but I didn't putt very well there. That's basically what held me back there. Prior to that coming into here, I played some horrible golf, wasn't enjoying it, and then, like I said, coming in here, I had to sit down and refocus and change my goals a little bit prior to playing the event.

My ball-striking was exceptionally weak coming into this, and I spent the week with my coach. We changed a few things and I was a bit more back on track then.

Q. In changing your goals, what did you change them to?

STEPHEN AMES: Well, that's for me to know, you to find out (laughing).

Q. Was there a sense of regret that you left strokes out on the golf course today through putting, maybe two, three stokes, either way, or is that just the way it is?

STEPHEN AMES: That's part of golf. I think right now, mentally I can look back and say, yeah, those were my fault, rather than getting the odd bad bounce, which I haven't got this week, or the bad lie when I missed the fairway; I got lucky with those. So you have to contrast the two and say I've been lucky for two days to get away with what I've got now, so I am happy with where I am now.

Q. You said on 5 you played it the wrong way. That par 5, did you miss the fairway and then have to lay up?

STEPHEN AMES: I did. I missed the fairway on the left there. It was in the trap to an extent where I could barely move it forward about a hundred yards in front of me and ended up with 225 into the hole. I hit a great 2-iron to about 15 feet and made the putt. It was a laugh, obviously.

JULIUS MASON: Questions? Questions twice? Stephen Ames, folks. Thanks very much.

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