Sports » Features

Singh, Ames heat up as Skins Game approaches



With the Telus Skins Game just a few days away, the four players in the 2005 round are capturing headlines across the golf world.

Calgary’s Stephen Ames, who had a breakout year in 2004, was named Canada’s Male Touring Pro of the Year at the 2005 Score Awards.

"The past year has been a very exciting and fulfilling year for me," said Ames. "The Canadian fans and media have really treated me as ‘one of their own’ and that has been especially rewarding. The next week will be a highlight of my career so far with the opportunity to defend my first PGA Tour victory followed by a chance to join Jack Nickluas, Vijay Singh and John Daly at the Telus Skins Game. I consider it a great honour."

Ames is currently ranked 86 th on the money list, but was as high as 21 st last season.

John Daly told the Canadian Press that he was excited to come to Whistler.

"It’s just a lot of fun to go out there and play some golf and cut up a little bit and have a good time," he said.

"The fans get to see our personality when we’re not as serious as we would be in a major tournament or something. To be able to cut up a little bit and have some fun, I think the fans like to see that."

Daly, while sometimes controversial, is always a star attraction at the Skins Game. Last year he picked a fan out of the crowd, then bet him who would hit closest to the pin. The year before that he teed off with a pop can. In 1998 he played the entire par four course with his putter.

Daly is currently ranked 50 th on the money list after playing in 15 events.

Fiji’s Vijay Singh could be the best golfer on the pro tour today. He entered the season in first place after winning nine tour stops in 2004, and only temporarily dropped into a tie for fifth at one point before winning 12 rounds in a row at PGA tour events to reclaim first place.

This will be Singh’s fifth appearance at a Telus Skins Game, after winning events in 2003 and 2001. Although he’s known for being dead serious at pro events, he does seem to enjoy himself at the Skins Games.

For Jack Nicklaus, this will be his last North American appearance. At 65 the Golden Bear is finally retiring from pro golf following the British Open the week after the Skins Game. He designed the Nicklaus North course, and still plays a great game of golf.