Season over for Rod Spittle and Jim Rutledge
The Champions Tour season is over for Canadians Rod Spittle and Jim Rutledge.
Spittle of St. Catharines, Ont., tied for 56th place Sunday at the AT&T Championship, the final full-field event of 2012 on the tour for men 50 and over. His three-day total of eight-over-par 224 at TPC San Antonio left him 16 strokes behind winner David Frost.
Rutledge of Victoria was another five shots adrift, sharing 72nd place.
Each of the Canadians needed nothing less than a win to qualify for the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship this week in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Just the top 30 on the circuit's money list after play ended Sunday are eligible for the finale.
Spittle is at No. 43, Rutledge at 49.
Because just the top 30 at the end of the season retain full-time playing privileges, Spittle and Rutledge face the prospect of heading to the final stage of the tour's qualifying tournament, or Q-school, in November.
Clawing his way into Champions Tour fields is nothing new for Rutledge, who got into a bunch of tournaments in 2010 and 2011 by advancing from Monday qualifiers and then won his card for 2012 at the 2011 Q-school. But he told The Vancouver Sun last week that he's disappointed he didn't do more with his full-time card this year.
"It feels like I have been treading water all year," Rutledge told the Sun's Brad Zeimer. "I accomplished my goal at the end of last year to get my tour card. So I gave myself lots of chances, but as of yet I haven’t been able to follow through on it. So it’s been a little disappointing.”
Spittle earned his card by winning a tournament in 2010. He retained it in 2011, for the 2012 season, by cracking the top 30 on the money list.
At Q-school next month in Coral Gables, Fla., Spittle and Rutledge will head a Canadian contingent that will include Marc Girouard and Dave Wettlaufer.
Girouard of Mirabel, Que., and Wettlaufer of Kitchener, Ont., advanced to the Q-school final by finishing in the top 10 of a recent regional qualifier in Florida.
Girouard is the 2012 Quebec Senior Champion and the brother-in-law of NHL goaltender Martin Brodeur. Wettlaufer played on the European Senior Tour and grew up playing Rockway Golf Course, a club of which friend and mentor Moe Norman was a member.
Ahmad Bateman of Windsor, Ont., also has a chance to reach the Q-school final. He's playing this week in another regional qualifier in Texas.
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