Stephen Ames of Canada shot a final-round 5-under 67 on Sunday to secure his third win of the PGA Tour Champions season at the Principal Charity Classic in Des Moines, Iowa.
Ames made a crucial birdie at the par-3 17th hole and a short par putt at the par-4 18th at Wakonda Club to finish at 17-under 199 and beat defending champion Jerry Kelly and red-hot Steve Stricker by one stroke.
The 59-year-old Ames previously won the Trophy Hassan II in Morocco and the Mitsubishi Electric Classic last month outside Atlanta. It was also Ames’ second victory at the Des Moines-area event after also capturing the title in 2021.
“When you consider the fact how well (Stricker) has played all year … I figured I had to do something this week,” Ames told the Golf Channel broadcast. “And the putter got really nice and warm, which is good for me, because I’ve had problems with it the past couple of events that I’ve played. It’s thrilling again to come back here and win.”
Ames’ only bogey of the three-round tournament came Sunday at the par-3 14th, dropping him back to 16 under for the tournament after piling up his first five birdies. At the downhill 17th, he landed his wedge shot inside 10 feet of the pin and made birdie to get back to 17 under.
Playing with Ames, Stricker made four bogeys and no birdies for a final-round 68, but he missed birdie putts at Nos. 14, 15 and 16 before getting one last chance to tie Ames at 17 under on the final hole.
Stricker’s makeable left-to-right birdie putt missed below the hole, and Ames followed with his 2 1/2-footer for par and the win.
“They love their golf out here, which is awesome, and they do a wonderful attendance here every year we’ve come back,” Ames said. “Next year it’s gonna be a different golf course so we’re looking forward to seeing what that’s gonna look like, but I think overall it was a great week.”
Kelly shot a 7-under 65 to jump into the tie for second with Stricker. Rod Pampling of Australia (66) and Tim Petrovic (67) tied for fourth at 15 under.
–Field Level Media