Canadian Rod Spittle enjoys strong start at Champions Tour event in Calgary

Rod Spittle lines up a shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the 3M Players Championship golf tournament at TPC Twin Cities golf course Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013, in Blaine, Minn. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)

Canadian Rod Spittle is off to a solid start at the Shaw Charity Classic.

Spittle shot 4-under 66 in the opening round of the 54-hole Champions Tour event on Friday, putting him among the early leaders.

After bogeying the 17th, Spittle rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th hole and received a rousing ovation from the fans.

The 63-year-old from Niagara Falls, Ont., is competing in his final professional tournament. Prior to the season, he decided to retire after playing in 11 tournaments.

“I just shot 66. That beats my target score by about 10 for the day so now we’re off and running,” Spittle said from the course on Friday.

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“That puts a different spin on everything and we’ll see if we can do that a couple more times, how about that.”

“It would be wonderful to get the opportunity to have to play next year because we won but to win in Canada would mean more than that, it would be his dream come true, so we’ll see what happens,” his wife, Ann Spittle, said.

— With files from Kevin Smith, Global News

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