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Golf News: - Posted 17th June 1998

Visa problems force Ames off US Tour

London - Trinidadian golfer Stephen Ames returned to the European tour last week after visa problems forced him to leave the USPGA Tour.

Ames, forced to withdraw from U.S. Open qualifying, played in the Compaq Open / European Grand Prix tournament at Slaley Hall near Newcastle. The 34-year-old also plans to play in the Irish Open and the Loch Lomond tournament leading up to the British Open, after which he hopes his visa problems will be resolved and he can return to the U.S. tour.

"It's a sourish note why I'm here but I'm just looking forward to playing some golf again. I've done nothing since May," he said.

Ames, who first played on the European tour in 1992 after a similar visa problem in the United States, said his current predicament could not have come at a worse time.

"I was playing the best golf of my life," he said. "It's an administrative problem. I have a visa which I thought extended to the end of the year but when I left my home in Canada to play in Texas three weeks ago I wasn't allowed in and an immigration official told me the visa had expired."