In what could have been the hottest conditions ever for a Canadian PGA tournament, Jim Rutledge of Victoria kept his cool en route to a five-under-par 67 and the first round lead at the Mr. Lube – Canadian PGA Seniors’ Championship presented by Cleveland Golf/Srixon.
With temperatures over 40 C with the humidex, Craig Marseilles of Maple, Ont., sits one shot back at 68, while Champions Tour player Rod Spittle of Niagara Falls, Ont., is two shots off the lead after firing a 69 on the Copperhead Course at RattleSnake Point in Milton, Ont.
Rutledge finished the front nine at one-under 35, before turning up the heat on the back side with birdies on 10, 14, 15 and 16 to post a four-under par 32 on the home side.
“Overall, I’m pretty pleased that I got it going on the back nine after leaving some out there on the front nine,” said Rutledge, who finished 38th at the Montreal Championship last week on the Champions Tour.
Marseilles took advantage of an earlier tee time on Tuesday and made a move right out of the gate with four birdies on his first six holes. After making a bogey on the par five 10th hole, he added a couple more on 12 and 13 before posting three more birdies on his next four holes.
Spittle arrived at on Sunday after qualifying for the U.S. Senior Open in Dunedin, Fla. He seemed to have carried the momentum over into Canada after his round that included four birdies and one bogey after hitting 14 greens in regulation.
“It was a pretty solid way to get started today as I had plenty of makeable birdie putts on most of the holes out there,” stated Spittle, who’s making his second appearance in the event.
“Yesterday’s Pro-Am that Mr. Lube hosted was fantastic and all the players have been talking about how excited they are to have this new sponsor on board,” he said.
Canadian Golf Hall of Famer and 2007 champion Dave Barr of Kelowna, BC is within striking range after an even par round of 72.
Ken Fulton of Port Hope, Ont., who won the 1996 senior title, posted a 72 in one of the first groups of the day and leads the Super Seniors Division by one shot over Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member Bob Panasik and Terry Miskolczi of Toronto.
Bobby Breen of Brampton, Ont., fired a one-over 73 today to lead the Diamond Division by five shots over defending champion Doug Sullivan of Indian Mountain, N.B.
The Mr. Lube – Canadian PGA Seniors’ Championship presented by Cleveland Golf/Srixon was kicked off yesterday with the Mr. Lube Tournament for Life Pro-AM and the Legends of Golf Clinic. Those events resulted in a presentation to Prostate Cancer Canada from the Mr. Lube Foundation in the amount of $40,000.
For the leaderboard, second round tee times and more information, see the Canadian PGA website here.