2011 Canadian Tour Year In Review
By Kevin Currie, Golf Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - It was a balanced year on the Canadian Tour with 11 players winning tournaments, and just one player winning twice.
And not only did the tour have a solid season in and of itself, but a couple of its' alums were also making big news as the year wound to a close.
We'll first take a look at two of the alums.
Jim Rutledge, 52, fired a nine-under 62 in the second round at the Champions Tour Q School. He took the lead with that stellar round, but failed to hold that top spot.
Not to worry. He carded four sub-par rounds and shared second place behind Jeff Freeman. Rutledge, a six-time winner on the Canadian Tour, was one of five players to earn full status on the Champions Tour for 2012.
Adam Hadwin was one of the 11 winners on the Canadian Tour this year and he was able to make five starts on the PGA Tour.
The 24-year-old had two top-10 finishes in those five events, including a share of fourth place at the Canadian Open. Thanks in part to that, and his share of seventh at the Frys.Com Open, Hadwin earned over $440,000 on the PGA Tour.
In his 11 Canadian Tour starts, including a victory at the Pacific Colombia Tour Championship, Hadwin earned more than $42,627.
Hadwin, who shared 39th at the U.S. Open, earned enough money in his five PGA Tour starts that he was able to skip the first and second stages of Q School and advance right to the final stage.
Hadwin is one of 20 Canadian Tour players that made it to the final stage of PGA Tour Q School, which gives them at least some status on the Nationwide Tour next year.
While those 20 are battling for a place on the PGA Tour, 16 others are going for their card on the European Tour for 2012. Heading that group is Hugo Leon, who finished second on the 2011 Canadian Tour Order of Merit.
Jose de Jesus Rodriguez was the top player in 2011 on the Canadian Tour. He was the lone player with two titles, and he also had a runner-up finish. Those three high finishes came in a five-event span starting in early May and ending the first Sunday in July.
Rodriguez missed the cut in a pair of PGA Tour starts, but in his one appearance on the Nationwide Tour in 2011, he shared 11th place at the Mexico Open.
Rodriguez's first tour title came in one of the better events of the season, the Mexican PGA Championship.
The Mexican closed with a five-under 67 in the final round to match Roger Sloan at 14-under. They finished one stroke clear of two others, while two more players were two strokes back.
Rodriguez and Sloan headed to a playoff, where Rodriguez birdied the first extra hole to win for the first time on the Canadian Tour.
Among the others that had good years included Benjamin Alvarado, Dustin Risdon and Garrett Sapp. The trio all finished inside the top-10 in the Order of Merit despite not winning this season.
Matt Johnston, Nathan Leonhardt and Robert McRae were among those that had difficult seasons. Johnston had 11 starts, while Leonhardt and McRae both started 10 events. Of the group, Johnston earned the most money collecting just $1,525 with two made cuts.
12/01 13:41:24 ET