Jared du Toit, the 21-year old amateur from BC, continued to hold his spot on the leaderboard, despite taking an 8 on a par five. He finds himself one shot back of Dustin Johnson. Oh, and did I mention this is his first PGA Tour event?
My take for Globalnews.ca, with the inevitable point that a Canadian hasn’t won in, well, a long time:
The day started well for du Toit, who briefly held a share of the lead after the first nine holes, nearly witnessed his round derailed by a hooked drive on his 11th hole of the day. The ball bounded into a hazard, and a flared approach shot on the par-5 ended up plugged in a bunker. He lost three shots on the hole, plunging down the leaderboard. But three consecutive birdies starting on his 15th hole brought du Toit back into the mix, and when he rolled in an 11-foot putt for par on his final hole of the day, the amateur found himself tied for third.
“Taking an eight always hurts,” said du Toit. “But I just kind of stayed patient. The putter heated up at the right time and it was all good. Nothing but good things to say.”
A day that started with a tea at a local Tim Hortons might well end with something a little stronger, and du Toit will have plenty of time to reflect on his circumstance as he heads out in one of the final groups of the day. Not since Doug Sanders in 1956 has an amateur won the Canadian Open. Pat Fletcher was the last Canadian to win the tournament in 1954.
If you sat Jared du Toit down a week ago and told him that through two rounds of his first tournament on the PGA Tour—his national open, no less—he’d be a stroke back of leader Dustin Johnson, the amateur golfer would have thought you were more than a little out of your mind.
“I would have called you a liar, probably,” du Toit says, grinning.
But that’s exactly where the 21-year-old from tiny Kimberley, B.C., finds himself after carding a one-under 71 at Glen Abbey on Friday, leaving him at six-under and tied for third in the second pro tournament of his career.
Other pieces on du Toit:
Overall, not a good week for Canadians. Graham DeLaet struggled with his chipping, David Hearn struggled with his game after a great Canadian Open in 2015, and Brad Fritsch had issues with the wind during his first round. Corey Conners is hanging around, as is NHL hockey ref Garrett Rank.