Ames tops Disney, aims for Hawaii

By DOUG FERGUSON
Associated Press

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Stephen Ames wanted to escape the chill of Calgary for the final PGA Tour event, a decision that paid off Sunday when he closed with a 4-under 68 for a one-shot victory in the Children’s Miracle Network Classic.

Ames emerged from a typically crowded leaderboard at Disney with three straight birdies on the back nine of the Magnolia Course, then saved par from 65 feet out of the bunker to avoid a playoff with Tim Clark.

It was the first victory in a year that Ames already had deemed a success because of overhauling his swing to cope with nagging back issues. He took pride in being among the leaders in the final round of the U.S. Open, and playing in the final group with Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship.

Nothing beats winning, though, especially against a solid group of players contending at Disney.

“I was planning on going to Maui for a Christmas vacation, and now I have another reason to go,” Ames said, referring to Kapalua for the winners-only Mercedes-Benz Championship that starts the 2008 season.

Clark, who has the most career earnings of anyone without a PGA Tour victory, birdied six of his final 10 holes for a 66 and played the brutal three closing holes in 1 under to see if it would be good enough. Scott Verplank, who shared the 54-hole lead with Ames, was tied for the lead with four holes to play until he could no longer keep up.

Ames made it tough on himself by putting his approach into a bunker, some 65 feet from the hole on the 18th. But he blasted out beautifully to 3 feet and calmly rapped in the putt for his third career victory.

He finished at 17-under 271, the highest winning score at Disney since Woods won with the same score in 1999.

The consolation prize went to Kevin Stadler, who tied for 15th to move into the top 125 and keep his card for next year. Stadler finished at No. 124, while Mathias Gronberg locked up the final spot with a tie for 37th.

Stadler began the Fall Series at No. 108 on the money list, but made only two cuts over the last six weeks and had dropped to No. 127. He played the final round knowing he was somewhere around the magic number.

“It’s not life or death, but it’s a hell of a big deal,” Stadler said.

Justin Leonard was among seven players tied for the lead at one point until a late bogey dropped him into a tie for sixth, leaving him short of the top 30 on the money list to earn a spot in the Masters.

Final scores with relation to par and earnings from the Children’s Miracle Network Classic, played Nov. 1-4 at WaltDisney World Resort’s par-72, 6,957-yard Palm Golf Course (p) andpar-72, 7,516-yard Magnolia Golf Course (m):

  1. Stephen Ames $828,000
    70m-63p-70m-68m--271

    -17 2. Tim Clark 496,800
    67m-69p-70m-66m--272

    -16 3. Tag Ridings 239,200
    67p-66m-71m-70m--274

    -14 3. Robert Gamez 239,200
    70p-69m-67m-68m--274

    -14 3. Scott Verplank 239,200
    66p-66m-71m-71m--274

    -14 6. Bryce Molder 154,100
    68p-69m-70m-68m--275

    -13 6. Jeff Overton 154,100
    67p-68m-69m-71m--275

    -13 6. Justin Leonard 154,100
    67m-67p-70m-71m--275

    -13 9. Nick Watney 119,600
    68m-68p-73m-67m--276

    -12 9. J.P. Hayes 119,600
    65m-69p-72m-70m--276

    -12 9. J.B. Holmes 119,600
    70m-66p-70m-70m--276

    -12 9. Heath Slocum 119,600
    68m-68p-69m-71m--276

    -12 13. Brian Gay 92,000
    70p-69m-69m-69m--277

    -11 13. Stewart Cink 92,000
    69p-67m-70m-71m--277

    -11 15. Sean O'Hair 73,600
    68m-66p-76m-68m--278

    -10 15. Kevin Stadler 73,600
    69m-69p-69m-71m--278

    -10 15. Brett Wetterich 73,600
    69p-65m-72m-72m--278

    -10 15. Jeff Gove 73,600
    72m-67p-68m-71m--278

    -10 15. Ryuji Imada 73,600
    66p-71m-69m-72m--278

    -10 20. Bart Bryant 49,833
    69m-65p-75m-70m--279

    -9 20. Cameron Beckman 49,833
    66m-68p-72m-73m--279

    -9 20. Steve Marino 49,833
    68m-66p-72m-73m--279

    -9 20. Rich Beem 49,833
    70p-66m-70m-73m--279

    -9 20. D.J. Brigman 49,833
    70m-65p-71m-73m--279

    -9 20. Mathew Goggin 49,833
    68p-67m-69m-75m--279

    -9 26. Michael Allen 30,025
    69m-68p-73m-70m--280

    -8 26. Joey Sindelar 30,025
    69p-69m-73m-69m--280

    -8 26. Carl Pettersson 30,025
    68p-70m-73m-69m--280

    -8 26. Jesper Parnevik 30,025
    70m-68p-72m-70m--280

    -8 26. Vaughn Taylor 30,025
    67m-67p-75m-71m--280

    -8 26. Joe Durant 30,025
    68p-72m-69m-71m--280

    -8 26. Parker McLachlin 30,025
    68p-69m-72m-71m--280

    -8 26. Billy Mayfair 30,025
    70m-67p-71m-72m--280

    -8 26. Bob Heintz 30,025
    69p-67m-72m-72m--280

    -8 26. Craig Kanada 30,025
    70m-67p-71m-72m--280

    -8 26. Steve Lowery 30,025
    71p-65m-71m-73m--280

    -8 37. Mathias Gronberg 21,160
    70m-71p-69m-71m--281

    -7 37. Charles Warren 21,160
    69p-69m-71m-72m--281

    -7 37. Jason Dufner 21,160
    74m-64p-70m-73m--281

    -7 37. Tim Petrovic 21,160
    68p-68m-68m-77m--281

    -7 41. Ken Duke 14,561
    69p-71m-70m-72m--282

    -6 41. Ryan Armour 14,561
    69m-64p-76m-73m--282

    -6 41. Jarrod Lyle 14,561
    69m-69p-73m-71m--282

    -6 41. Craig Barlow 14,561
    70m-69p-72m-71m--282

    -6 41. Kyle Reifers 14,561
    72m-67p-72m-71m--282

    -6 41. Ryan Moore 14,561
    70m-67p-72m-73m--282

    -6 41. Tom Pernice, Jr. 14,561
    72m-69p-70m-71m--282

    -6 41. Fredrik Jacobson 14,561
    71p-70m-71m-70m--282

    -6 41. Tripp Isenhour 14,561
    71p-67m-69m-75m--282

    -6 41. Chris Stroud 14,561
    70p-68m-75m-69m--282

    -6 41. Glen Day 14,561
    74p-67m-73m-68m--282

    -6 52. Ben Crane 10,672
    70m-68p-73m-72m--283

    -5 52. Jason Schultz 10,672
    67p-72m-72m-72m--283

    -5 52. Kirk Triplett 10,672
    70m-67p-72m-74m--283

    -5 52. Daniel Chopra 10,672
    72p-68m-71m-72m--283

    -5 52. Michael Sim 10,672
    71p-69m-68m-75m--283

    -5 52. Joe Ogilvie 10,672
    70m-68p-77m-68m--283

    -5 58. Doug LaBelle II 10,120
    70m-68p-73m-73m--284

    -4 58. Brian Davis 10,120
    73p-67m-72m-72m--284

    -4 58. Neal Lancaster 10,120
    69p-72m-71m-72m--284

    -4 58. Greg Kraft 10,120
    73m-68p-71m-72m--284

    -4 58. Matt Kuchar 10,120
    71m-70p-73m-70m--284

    -4 63. Dicky Pride 9,568
    67p-70m-74m-74m--285

    -3 63. Charlie Wi 9,568
    70m-71p-70m-74m--285

    -3 63. Kent Jones 9,568
    73p-68m-71m-73m--285

    -3 63. Duffy Waldorf 9,568
    72p-69m-71m-73m--285

    -3 63. Lucas Glover 9,568
    68p-73m-72m-72m--285

    -3 63. Michael Boyd 9,568
    73m-68p-73m-71m--285

    -3 63. Brendon de Jonge 9,568
    70p-69m-76m-70m--285

    -3 70. Rocco Mediate 9,062
    72m-67p-76m-71m--286

    -2 70. Jeff Brehaut 9,062
    71p-68m-76m-71m--286

    -2 70. Marco Dawson 9,062
    71m-70p-74m-71m--286

    -2 70. Greg Owen 9,062
    71p-69m-76m-70m--286

    -2 74. Boo Weekley 8,694
    73m-67p-72m-75m--287

    -1 74. Woody Austin 8,694
    67p-74m-71m-75m--287

    -1 74. John Mallinger 8,694
    68p-73m-71m-75m--287

    -1 74. Ryan Palmer 8,694
    74m-67p-74m-72m--287

    -1 78. Jeff Maggert 8,280
    69p-68m-75m-76m--288

    E 78. Lee Janzen 8,280
    74m-67p-71m-76m--288

    E 78. Frank Lickliter II 8,280
    69m-72p-73m-74m--288

    E 78. Billy Andrade 8,280
    72m-69p-73m-74m--288

    E 78. Craig Lile 8,280
    70p-71m-74m-73m--288

    E 83. Bubba Watson 7,912
    70p-69m-71m-79m--289
    + 1 83. Chris Tidland 7,912
    71m-67p-71m-80m--289
    + 1 83. Briny Baird 7,912
    73m-67p-75m-74m--289
    + 1 86. David Branshaw 7,728
    71p-70m-77m-74m--292
    + 4 87. Bob Tway 7,636
    70p-70m-78m-76m--294
    + 6 88. Steve Wheatcroft 7,544
    73m-68p-78m-77m--296
    + 8 89. Eric Axley 0
    69p-72m-75m-WD


    • • •





    Missed the cut





    90. Bob May

    70p-72m--142

    -2 90. Shaun Micheel

    70p-72m--142

    -2 90. Ron Philo, Jr.

    69m-73p--142

    -2 90. Tom Johnson

    74m-68p--142

    -2 90. Tom Lehman

    70p-72m--142

    -2 95. Bill Haas

    72p-71m--143

    -1 95. Brian Bateman

    71p-72m--143

    -1 95. Jerry Kelly

    72p-71m--143

    -1 95. Chris Couch

    71p-72m--143

    -1 95. Ben Curtis

    72m-71p--143

    -1 95. Robert Allenby

    74m-69p--143

    -1 95. John Merrick

    71m-72p--143

    -1 95. Johnson Wagner

    73m-70p--143

    -1 95. Richard S. Johnson

    70m-73p--143

    -1 95. Ted Purdy

    70p-73m--143

    -1 95. Craig Perks

    71p-72m--143

    -1 95. Kevin Na

    71p-72m--143

    -1 95. Rich Barcelo

    68m-75p--143

    -1 95. Tadd Fujikawa

    71p-72m--143

    -1 95. Darron Stiles

    74m-69p--143

    -1 110. Jerry Smith

    70p-74m--144

    E 110. Jim Rutledge

    72m-72p--144

    E 110. Michael Putnam

    73p-71m--144

    E 110. Scott Gutschewski

    72p-72m--144

    E 110. Craig Bowden

    69p-75m--144

    E 110. Robert Garrigus

    68p-76m--144

    E 110. Cliff Kresge

    75m-69p--144

    E 117. Mark Calcavecchia

    73p-72m--145
    + 1 117. Brent Geiberger

    71m-74p--145
    + 1 117. Jeff Quinney

    71p-74m--145
    + 1 117. Gavin Coles

    71p-74m--145
    + 1 121. John Huston

    74p-72m--146
    + 2 121. Jaco Van Zyl

    72p-74m--146
    + 2 121. Jay Williamson

    73m-73p--146
    + 2 121. Daisuke Maruyama

    73m-73p--146
    + 2 121. George McNeill

    73p-73m--146
    + 2 126. Harrison Frazar

    71m-76p--147
    + 3 126. Paul Gow

    74p-73m--147
    + 3 126. Matt Hendrix

    74m-73p--147
    + 3 129. Andrew Buckle

    73p-75m--148
    + 4 130. Bob Estes

    71m-78p--149
    + 5 131. Bubba Dickerson

    76m-75p--151
    + 7 132. Scott Gump

    76m-78p--154
    + 10
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