Ames eyes Disney victory after year of swing changes

MIAMI, Nov 4 (Reuters) Canada's Stephen Ames, after spending most of this year overhauling his swing, is in a good position to clinch his third PGA Tour victory at the Disney Classic in Lake Buena Vista.

The 43-year-old moved two shots clear with three birdies in five holes before two late bogeys left him tied for the lead with American Scott Verplank after yesterday's third round.

''Winning tomorrow, or even playing well, would be great,'' Ames told reporters after carding a two-under-par 70 in blustery conditions on the Walt Disney World Resort's Magnolia course.

''A 66 today on this course would validate some of these changes, regardless where I finish.'' Ames, who won the biggest title of his career at last year's Players Championship, was forced to overhaul his swing after suffering back problems towards the end of his 2006 season.

Helped by coach Sean Foley, he has worked hard to shape a shallower swing to hit the ball higher and further.

''The swing changes have taken almost a whole year to grasp, where I understand why the ball goes right or the ball goes left,'' the Trinidad native said.

''I'm now more comfortable hitting the golf ball and I can also fix it on the golf course during the course of the round. It's been a steady climb and my ball striking is showing that this week.'' Ames, who relinquished a two-stroke lead with three-putt bogeys at the 16th and the last, faces an uphill task on a rain-sodden layout with the top 19 players separated by just three shots going into Sunday's final round.

''It's a tough course to shoot a 64 because it is so much longer, said the Canadian, who has posted three top-10s on the 2007 PGA Tour, including a tie for 10th at the US Open in June.

''But, if you play steady tomorrow, you will have some birdie opportunities and be at the top of the board at the end of the day.'' REUTERS TB BD0950

Story first published: Sunday, November 4, 2007, 10:33 [IST]
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