Three-time champion Jim Rutledge posted a first round, seven-under 64 on Wednesday at Credit Valley Golf and Country Club in Mississauga, Ont., and leads by four shots at the Mr. Lube PGA Seniors’ Championship of Canada over Phil Jonas.
“I wanted to get off to a good start, but probably pushed a little too hard early and was a shaky even par through five holes,” said Rutledge. “I finally got fired up on the back nine and had a really strong finish to my round.”
Rutledge’s final nine holes featured four birdies and an eagle to post a 30 on the back nine.
With just one top-25 finish this year on the Champions Tour, Rutledge fully acknowledges it hasn’t been a good year. However, he made a change this week with hopes of turning around his game.
“It hasn’t been a good year at all, period,” he said. “I’ve been putting not so good, so I changed putters this week and all of a sudden, I’m making some putts again.”
Rutledge’s three previous wins at this event came in 2010, 2012 and 2013. PGA of Canada Hall of Fame member Moe Norman is an eight-time champion, while Bill Kozak hoisted the championship trophy five times.
Jonas, a two-time PGA Assistants’ Championship of Canada winner, sits alone in second place after a first round three-under 68.
“It’s a really good golf course and it’s one of those places that if you play well you’re going to be rewarded with a good score,” he said.
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