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Late Bloomer
ALAN SHIPNUCK
December 18, 2006
A 47-Year-Old Tour Virgin, Jim Rutledge Is The Oldest Rookie But with a well-traveled game, a loving, healthy family and a newfound confidence, Rutledge could be the first-year player who does the most damage in 2007
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December 18, 2006

Late Bloomer

A 47-Year-Old Tour Virgin, Jim Rutledge Is The Oldest Rookie But with a well-traveled game, a loving, healthy family and a newfound confidence, Rutledge could be the first-year player who does the most damage in 2007

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The World Cup was his first small taste of life in the big time. With all the players staying at Sandy Lane, its private beach became a popular gathering spot in the afternoon. One day a couple of English Ryder Cup stars-- Luke Donald and David Howell--made a splash with a noisy swimming competition to a distant dock. Everyone tried to avert his or her eyes from the unforgettable sight of Miguel Angel Jim´┐Żnez strutting around in a black Speedo smoking a cigar, with his Spafro spilling out from beneath a porkpie hat. Montgomerie took a long walk on the beach at sunset, looking mopey as he was alone in paradise.

In the middle of it all was Rutledge, seeming very much at ease. At twilight he and his wife and son bodysurfed in the warm waters of the Caribbean. From under the blue umbrellas on the sand, Rutledge could be heard laughing heartily, and why not? After 28 years and a million miles, he has finally arrived.

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