Golf

Canadian upstart Jared du Toit reveals poise sitting a stroke again of Dustin Johnson at Canadian Open

OAKVILLE, Ont. — Oh, what might need been.

However, extra importantly, which could nonetheless be.

With Spaniard Jon Rahm in and cooled with a second-round 67 and his school teammate, Canadian beginner sensation Jared du Toit, lurking close to the highest of the RBC Canadian Open leaderboard, it regarded like the 2 mates would, unbelievably, get to play the third spherical collectively.

Rahm held up his finish of the discount, hanging across the top-five with a 6-under complete. Du Toit, who appeared to have crashed and burned with a triple-bogey on the par-5 second gap, got here inside an eyelash of creating it occur.

However higher but, du Toit, who hails from Calgary, can nonetheless win this factor.

Exhibiting guts and the flexibility to return again nicely past his years, du Toit overcame the close to catastrophe early in his second 9 to complete one stroke higher than the place he began the day and stay within the hunt for the championship.

A 1-under 71 left him in a three-way tie for second and solely a PGA ruling prevented him from beginning Saturday’s spherical together with his school buddy. He was that shut.

“(This) feels fairly good,” du Toit mentioned. “I imply, I’m somewhat stunned. I knew I may play nicely however, yeah, on this stage with one of the best guys on the earth, it positively feels fairly good. Every little thing from now (on) is simply cream on prime. I’ve had quite a lot of enjoyable thus far these previous couple of days.”

As a substitute of the previous Arizona State pairing, Rahm will play with Kelly Kraft and du Toit will pair up with American Ricky Barnes.

However that didn’t cease Rahm pondering what it will have been wish to play with du Toit on the massive stage.

“That may be extraordinarily bizarre, I don’t know,” Rahm mentioned after carding a 1-under 71 to maintain him close to the highest of the leaderboard Friday at Glen Abbey. “I really feel like it will be type of arduous to get critical sooner or later. Really, it will be nice. To have the ability to tee it up with a good friend in a PGA Tour occasion could be greater than an honour.

“It will be extraordinarily enjoyable for each of us.”

Alas, a discover the par-5 second gap, left du Toit scrambling to keep away from a giant quantity, by no means thoughts positioning himself to play with Rahm. A triple-bogey eight successfully put the kibosh on these plans.

It’s not prefer it’s been years since Rahm and du Toit performed collectively. Sheesh, it’s solely been a number of months since they performed collectively at Arizona State, the alma mater of Phil Mickelson.

However the two 21-year-olds are clearly tight, having been highway roomies with the Solar Devils. As Rahm mentioned, getting the prospect to play with du Toit at an occasion just like the Canadian Open would have been, nicely, fairly cool.

“We turned actually good mates,” mentioned Rahm, a former world No. 1 beginner who turned professional lower than a month in the past on the Quicken Loans Nationwide. “I don’t assume there’s anybody on the (Arizona State) workforce who doesn’t like Jared. He’s only a real man. Most likely one of the vital enjoyable individuals I’ve ever met. We turned actually good mates.”

Whereas Rahm and Calgary-born and B.C.-raised du Toit had been doing what they may to rearrange weekend tee occasions, People Dustin Johnson and Luke Record received the job carried out and took a share of first place at 7-under.

American Kelly Kraft had a bogey on the ultimate gap to fall right into a tie with Rahm and du Toit a stroke again whereas Ricky Barnes (68), Ben Crane (70), Tyler Aldridge (70), Brendon de Jonge (71) are all in a gaggle at 5-under.

Three different Canadians made the lower together with Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C. (T21 at 142), beginner Garrett Rank of Elmira, Ont. (T36 at 144) and Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont. (T61 at 146). Notable Canadians to overlook the lower had been Nick Taylor of Abbotsford, Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask. and Dave Hearn of Brantford, Ont., all with 5-over 149 totals, and Brad Fritsch of Ottawa with 151.

Whereas Rahm has quietly gone about his enterprise in his second professional begin and given himself an opportunity to win it, du Toit has made loads of noise in his nationwide championship.

Enjoying on a sponsor’s exemption, he opened with a surprising 5-under 67 Thursday. Then Friday, he spent a while atop the leaderboard. Two birdies, on 17 and 18, received him to 7-under, tying him with Johnson, and the disbelievers began to vary their tune.

Then…catastrophe. Or, what regarded like catastrophe on the time. A triple bogey after an journey within the woods at No. 2 dropped him again to 4-under. A bogey three holes later appeared to stay a knife in du Toit’s possibilities of contending.

However dammit, the child is resilient, if not gifted. Three straight birdies introduced him again to 6-under and a par on the ninth, his remaining gap, closed it out.

“Taking an eight at all times hurts however I simply type of stayed affected person,” du Toit mentioned. “The putter heated up on the proper time and, yeah, it was all good. Nothing however good issues to say.”

Now, extremely, du Toit has a professional probability to make Canadian golf historical past, to lastly put an finish to the notion {that a} homegrown participant can’t win this event.

Two days in the past, few would have given him an opportunity to simply make the lower on the Canadian Open, by no means thoughts win it?

So how is he going to arrange for the massive second? Make a cease at Tim Hortons, natch.

“I may go for some Tim’s,” du Toit mentioned.

How Canadian is that?

dpollard@postmedia.com

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