Rutledge Gets Big Comeback Victory


2005 ING NZ PGA ChampionshipCHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand -- Jim Rutledge fired an 8-under 64 Sunday to come from behind and win the ING New Zealand PGA Championship by one stroke. Rutledge ended the event at 9-under-par 279.
Jarrod Lyle held at least a share of the lead after the second and third rounds. A bogey at the par-4 18th dropped Lyle back to 8-under-par 280 after closing with a 2-over 74. He shared second place with Brett Rumford, who closed with a 72.
Wade Ormsby carded a 2-under 70 to finish in fourth place at minus-7. Chad Collins and Scott Gardiner were one stroke further back at 6-under-par 282 at Clearwater Resort.
Rutledge was well off the pace at minus-1 to start his round. He got off to a quick start with birdies on the first and second. The 46-year-old moved to minus-4 with a birdie on the par-5 fifth.
The Canadian then birdied the seventh for his fourth birdie of the day. Around the turn, Rutledge birdied the par-5 10th to get to 6 under and within two of the lead.
Rutledge, whose best tour finish was a tie for fifth at the 2004 Alberta Classic, parred six consecutive holes from the 11th. He then holed out for eagle on the par-four 17th to jump into a share of the lead at minus-8.
'With a hundred and eleven yards to the green I had a sand wedge, which was the perfect club for me,' said Rutledge. 'It was a little bit down wind left to right. I just tried to hit it in the middle of the green and spin it to the hole.'
Rutledge birdied the last from 25 feet out to get to minus-9.
'That green is pretty fast from right to left, so I figured that if I could just get it rolling on the right line, hopefully it wasn't going to go too far by,' Rutledge said. 'I had a good line on it and really good speed.'
Lyle was all over the place in the final round. He birdied the first to climb to 11-under. However, he bogeyed each of the next two holes. He then double bogeyed the par-5 fifth to drop to minus-7.
The Australian got one stroke back with a birdie on the sixth. Lyle parred his next six holes, then got back to 9 under with a birdie on the 13th. The 24- year-old parred four straight heading to the last. However, Lyle bogeyed the last after driving into a hazard to fall one short.
Rumford was two back at 8 under to open the round. He started the seven straight pars to remain there. After dropping a stroke on the eighth, Rumford got that right back with a birdie on No. 9.
The 28-year-old faltered to another bogey on the par-3 11th. Rumford atoned for that error with a birdie on the par-5 14th. He closed with four pars in a row to share second.
Jason Dufner and Paul Gow each shot 1-under 71 to get to 5-under-par 283. They shared seventh place with Paul Marantz, who closed with a 1-over 73.
Kevin Stadler, who won on the European Tour two weeks ago, closed with a 74. He tied for 10th place at minus-4 with Peter Fowler, Bob Heintz, David Morland IV, Peter Senior and David Smail.
Related Links:
  • Leadeerboard - ING New Zealand PGA Championship
  • Full Coverage - ING New Zealand PGA Championship