Victoria’s Jim Rutledge was so close to a return to PGA Tour Champions on Friday that he could taste it.
But when all was said and done at the final qualifying tournament at TPC Tampa Bay, Rutledge, who plays out of Uplands Golf Club, was left with a sour taste in his mouth.
After missing a four-foot put on the 18th green that would have gave him fifth place and the final of five cards available for the 2019 season, Rutledge was forced to go to a playoff with Craig Bowden, Stephen Leaney and Greg Kraft with the final two exemptions on the line. Bowden was eliminated on the first playoff hole, with Kraft securing one of the cards. And on the fourth playoff hole, Rutledge hit his second shot into the water, giving Leaney the final card for 2019.
Rutledge, who had a one-shot lead going into the final round, shot a final-round 73. His sixth-place finish earns him the right to Monday qualify at PGA Tour Champions event in 2019.