Pique N' Your Interest 

Title sponsors tarnish victory

As far as golf goes it’s a particularly sweet plum – the final spot in the celebrated Telus Skins Game pro foursome alongside bona fide legend Jack Nicklaus, top PGA player Vijay Singh, and modern golf’s driving force, John Daly.

At the Canadian Skins event, which took place earlier this week at Whistler’s Nicklaus North golf course, that final spot in the formidable foursome was reserved for Canada’s top touring pro. And according to the 2005 Score Awards, that golfer was Stephen Ames.

Ames’s inclusion in the Skins roster was announced proudly via a release from Tourism Whistler.

"The award kicks off an exciting week ahead for Ames as he prepares to defend his Cialis Western Open Championship," the chipper statement declared.

Now, I don’t know my birdies from my sand traps, but Ames is obviously a golfer of considerable talent to be recognized as the top Canadian pro and awarded the chance to rub shoulders with the game’s giants.

It’s a shame, really, that being so damn good has also won him the privilege of having his name inextricably associated with male erectile dysfunction.

Golf may seem like the sport of slackers, but at its top levels it’s a game requiring technical mastery hard won by years of practice and coaching, innate sensibilities in the reading of weather and terrain, and an unflappable psychological constitution. Top golfers prove themselves via a grueling gauntlet of qualifying tournaments known as "Q-school," an exercise in Darwinism that has broken the heart, mind and swing of many a fine young duffer, with only the strongest and most calculating characters surviving.

Mr. Ames is one of these survivors and as such his abilities deserve reverence.

So when you think "Ames," picture an earthworm’s eye view of a driver swishing slow-mo through dewy grass.

The connection, the follow-through, the statuesque form squinting into the morning sunscape, observing the straight-arrow shot’s trajectory toward a distant manicured green.

The delightful clonking sound of ball hitting cup, followed by the joyous celebration of winning the Cialis Western Open Championship.

Try not to think of Hugh Hefner resplendent in silk pajamas, eye level with the turgid implants of a harem of vapid blondes.

Or Wilford Brimley reveling in his randy impulses following a swim in an alien pod-infused swimming pool in the film Cocoon.

Or Bob Dole.

Oh the humanity! Make it stop!

Realistically, it’s not going to stop.

Money talks at high-level sporting events. A title corporate sponsor is integral to every tournament worth its salt.


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