Victoria's Jim Rutledge Reflects On Hall Of Fame Call
Victoria, BC's Jim Rutledge - Image Credit Bryan Outram/BC Golf
By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf
A half-century golfing odyssey has culminated with what Victoria’s Jim Rutledge calls the highlight of his incredible career.
Rutledge was named in February as one of two new inductees into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame. “The list of honoured members is in itself almost overwhelming and to join that distinguished group is the highlight of my golfing career,” Rutledge told a media conference call...
Rutledge and the late writer Robert Stanley Weir will become the 84th and 85th members of the Hall of Fame when they are inducted during the week of the RBC Canadian Open in early June.
Rutledge’s career has taken him all over the world and he joked that he has lost count of how many different countries he played in. “It’s a long list and I have the yardage books to prove it,” he said.
Rutledge won the Canadian Juvenile Boys title in 1975 and added the Canadian Junior Boys championship two years later.
He turned pro, at the age of 19, in 1978 and quickly hit the road. He played on, among others, the European, Asian, Canadian and Nationwide tours before becoming at age 47 the second oldest rookie on the PGA TOUR in 2007. He then went on to have success on the 50-and over PGA TOUR Champions circuit.
“My career in golf has taken me and my family all over the world, making lifelong friendships and experiencing many great golf courses,” Rutledge said. “For me that has been reward enough, regardless of the good scores and trophies accumulated along the way. I share this honour with my family and friends who have provided me such great support over the years.”
Rutledge has loved every minute of his golfing journey, but has especially fond memories of the 15 years he logged on the Asian Tour. “That was a lot of fun,” he said. “A different country every week. I was fortunate enough to take my wife and son over there once he was old enough.”
The 63-year-old Rutledge, who also represented Canada in World Cup and Dunhill Cup competitions, isn’t quite done with his competitive career. Last summer, he won his seventh PGA of Canada Seniors title and hopes to match, or maybe even better, Moe Norman’s record of eight Senior Championship wins.
“I know Moe would say, ‘Go for it, son, try and pass me,’” Rutledge said. “So I’d like to play as many as humanly possible and keep trying to win it.”