PGA Champions Tour: Jim Rutledge
Height: 5 ft, 11 in
Weight: 180 lbs
Turned Pro: 1978
Birthplace: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Residence: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Jim Rutledge, born August 26, 1959 in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia and proved to be a smart man form an early age! He is one of many that took advantage of the year-round golf conditions in his home Victoria British Columbia.
Year-round golf in Canada you say?
That’s right – courses are open all year in Victoria.
I know – I live there!
Rutledge was a member of the Gorge Vale Golf Course in Victoria where he would hone his craft and become the best golfer for his age group on Vancouver Island.
In 1975, he won the Canadian Juvenile Championship and in 1977 he won the Canadian Junior Championship. Success at an early age prompted Rutledge to turn pro in 1978 and head to Asia to play on the Asian Tour until 1988 where he had some, but not a ton of success.
He would winter in Asia and play the Canadian Tour in the summer for many years.
Rutledge then tried his luck on the European Tour where he played from 1988-1992, again with limited success. His best finish in Europe, a 55th place finish.
During the 1990 season, Rutledge got his first taste of the highest level of competition when he played in the in the Biggest tournament of them all – the British Open where he played very well before falling apart a bit on the weekend.
Rutledge would eventually finish 57th in that tournament.
He played the British Open again in 1991 but missed the cut that time.
After the 1992 season, Rutledge returned to the familiar Asian Tour where he would have a lot more success the second time around. In 1994, Rutledge finished third on the money list.
During this time Rutledge was having all sorts on success in his native Canada as well – he has finished third on the Canadian Tour’s Order of Merit three times and had become the most successful player in the history of the Canadian Golf Tour with six lifetime wins.
After 2001, Rutledge decided to stay on North American soil when he joined the Nationwide Tour where he would get his inaugural win in 2006 at the ING New Zealand PGA Championship.
He would finish 14th on the money list that year and earn his PGA TOUR card for 2007. Rutledge has very little success in the Major Leagues of golf making just 5 of 23 cuts.
The next chapter of Jim Rutledge’s golf story started when he turned 50 and became eligible for the Champions Tour where he remains to this day. He earned conditional exempt status for the 2011 Champions Tour season, by finishing eighth at the final qualifying school tournament on November 19, 2010.
He fully qualified for the Champions Tour for the 2012 season after finishing tied for second at qualifying school in 2011.
In 2011 he earned close to $300,000 in 16 Seniors Tour events. Also made three starts on the Canadian Golf Tour and finished second at The Players Cup, which earned him a spot in the RBC Canadian Open.
Rutledge was a pioneer for Canadian golf – many youngsters hope to follow in his footsteps – from Victoria BC all the way to the Big Time in the golf world.
He’s off to a good start in 2012 too. After two events he’s finished 20th and 21st and has earned $40,000 already.
Amateur wins (2)
- 1975 Canadian Juvenile Championship
- 1977 Canadian Junior Championship
Professional wins (9)
Nationwide Tour wins (1)
- 2006 ING New Zealand PGA Championship
Canadian Tour wins (6)
- 1979 British Columbia Open
- 1981 British Columbia Open
- 1984 Canadian PGA Championship
- 1989 British Columbia Open
- 1994 Alberta Open
- 1995 Montclair PEI Classic
Other wins (2)
- 1995 Indian Open
- 2000 Niagara Classic