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Rutledge Begins Strong at PGA Seniors’ Championship of Canada

As expected, Jim Rutledge began his title defense in impressive fashion Wednesday at the Mr. Lube PGA Seniors’ Championship of Canada presented by Adams Golf.

The 53-year-old Victoria native posted the day’s best score, a 5-under par 67 at Fonthill, Ont.’s, Lookout Point Country Club. Rutledge’s round included seven birdies and two bogeys.

“I birdied two, three, four and five so that was a pretty good start,” the 2012 and 2010 PGA Seniors’ Championship of Canada winner said. “But then I made a couple bogeys out there on the back nine and that 18th hole is a tough one.”

In 14 Champions Tour events this season, Rutledge has a pair of top-10 finishes and admits he’s been playing better golf recently.

“I’ve been playing some good golf over the past few weeks and I want to start putting some good scores up on the board,” he said. “I’ve got a long season left on the Champions Tour and playing in this week’s championship is a good fit for me because it allows me to keep working on my game under tournament conditions.”

Among those chasing Rutledge is 2009 PGA Seniors’ Champion Ray Stewart who opened this year’s championship with a 3-under-par 69 and is alone in second place.

“I played with Jim Rutledge today and he was playing so well it was easy to get dragged along behind him,” Stewart said.

Built in 1922 by famed golf course architect Walter J. Travis, Lookout Point sits high on the Niagara Escarpment overlooking the Niagara Falls skyline. While not long at nearly 6,500 yards, the golf course features some of the trickiest greens in the country.

“With the golf course sitting on an escarpment, there are a lot of optical illusions and you can’t really tell if a putt is uphill or downhill,” Stewart said. “But they are conditioned perfectly and the pin positions today I thought were very fair.”

2004 PGA Club Professional Championship of Canada winner Ian Doig, along with hometown favourite Rod Spittle and Terry Miskolczi are T3 after rounds of 70. The National Golf Club of Canada’s Keir Smith was the only other player in the 74-man field under par and sits alone in sixth spot.

“My mom lives a half hour down the road in Niagara Falls, so I’ve got a very comfortable stay this week,” Spittle said. “It’s a blast to come home and see everybody over the last couple days.”

Spittle finished T4 at last week’s Champions Tour stop, the 3M Championship. Earlier this season he finished T6 at the Senior PGA Championship, his best showing in a Champions Tour major championship. He’s also a former Champions Tour winner, capturing the 2010 AT&T Championship.

Miskolczi leads the Super Seniors’ division by four shots over Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member Bob Panasik and Surrey, B.C.’s, Norm Jarvis.

Attendance to the Mr. Lube PGA Seniors' Championship of Canada presented by Adams Golf is free and spectators are encouraged to attend during tournament play. For directions to Lookout Point Country Club, CLICK HERE.

The PGA Seniors' Championship of Canada was first played in 1938 as a division of the Canadian PGA Championship. In 1973, the Seniors' Championship became an independent event and has stayed that way ever since. Among the Canadian golf legends to win this championship are Stan Leonard, Moe Norman, Bob Panasik, Al Balding and Jim Rutledge. Norman won this championship a record seven straight years from 1979 to 1985, while Balding stunned the golf world by winning the championship at age 76 in 2000.

For the complete scoreboard and second round tee times, CLICK HERE

For complete coverage of this year's Mr. Lube PGA Seniors’ Championship of Canada presented by Adams Golf, visit pgaofcanada.com, twitter.com/pgaofcanada, youtube.com/thepgaofcanada and facebook.com/pgaofcanada

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