Stephen Ames wins Mitsubishi Electric Classic by four strokes
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His second win of the season, fourth overall on PGA TOUR Champions
Written by The Associated Press
DULUTH, Ga. -- Stephen Ames capped off his dominant week at TPC Sugarloaf with a 4-under 68 on Sunday that gave him the tournament scoring record and a four-stroke victory at the Mitsubishi Electric Classic.
Ames joined David Toms as the only multiple winners on PGA TOUR Champions this year. He previously won the Trophy Hassan II in Morocco.
Ames had a three-shot lead going into the final round and was never seriously challenged. He drove into the water on the final hole and still made a 30-foot par putt to finish at 19-under 197. Ames broke his own 54-hole record at TPC Sugarloaf by four shots. He also won in 2017.
Stephen Ames dials in approach to set up birdie at Mitsubishi Electric Classic
Ames attributed his victory in large part to a recent commitment to remain quiet and calm over the ball. To that end, the 59-year-old Canadian carded rounds of 65-64-68 in a scintillating performance outside Atlanta.
“It's something I've been working on with my psychologist since 2004 and it's only now kind of rubbing in,” Ames said after securing the title. “I think overall it's just realizing how important the mindset is and how important the focus part of it is when I'm playing golf. I tend to be very technical in my golf swing and … in the last year-and-a-half, I've let that go quite a bit, and funny enough, in letting that go, my swing has actually gotten better because I've gotten quieter mentally.
“So I think overall the golf swing is good enough to win out here, obviously with the way I played this week was an example of it, but fact that I was extremely quiet and very calm playing the whole week was even more extraordinary for me.”
Stephen Ames’ Round 3 winning highlights from the Mitsubishi Electric Classic
Miguel Angel Jimenez birdied the final hole for a 68 to finish alone in second. The Spaniard’s week included a hole-in-one at the par-3 16th hole in Friday’s opening round.
Brett Quigley tried to make a run at Ames and got within three shots until a bogey-double bogey finish for a 69 to finish alone in fourth. Ken Tanigawa took solo third.
Ames won $300,000 and moved up four spots to No. 4 in the Charles Schwab Cup standings. What made this victory more special was having his son, Ryan, as his caddie for the week. Ryan Ames is a PGA of Canada member and aspiring teaching pro.
“The fact I ended up winning was icing on the cake,” Ames said.
Steve Stricker didn't make a birdie on Sunday until the back nine and then shot 32 to tie for fifth, keeping his lead in the Charles Schwab Cup. He has finished in the top 10 in all seven of his PGA TOUR Champions starts this year, and 11 in a row dating to last August.
Stricker also made a hole-in-one at the par-3 16th hole in Saturday’s second round.
Open qualifier Kris Blanks finished solo seventh to earn a spot in the Principal Charity Classic, the next non-major on PGA TOUR Champions.