April 23rd, 2024

Canada’s Jared Du Toit finds immediate success in Asian Tour debut

By John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press on February 21, 2024.

Jared du Toit, of Canada, tees off on the second hole during the final round at the 2016 Canadian Open in Oakville, Ont., on Sunday, July 24, 2016. Jared du Toit was planning the next phase of his golfing career last summer, casting a wide net by entering qualifying for the Korn Ferry Tour, the DP World Tour, and anything else he could think of. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Jared Du Toit was planning the next phase of his golfing career last summer, casting a wide net by entering qualifying for the Korn Ferry Tour, the DP World Tour, and anything else he could think of.

But a friend from his days playing at Arizona State University nudged him toward the Asian Tour.

Fast forward to now and Du Toit, from Kimberley, B.C., sits seventh on the Asian Tour’s order of merit after earning a top-10 finish in his first-ever tournament on the men’s golf circuit.

“I was talking to him a little bit in the summer and he just said ‘you’re crazy if you’re not giving Asia a try. The competition is solid, the events are great, and the money is pretty good,'” said Du Toit. “That sparked some interest so I gave it a try, not thinking much of it.

“But (the DP World Tour and Korn Ferry Tour) didn’t work out so I went to Asia, got status that way. Now we’re here and enjoying it, enjoying it a lot so far.”

The 28-year-old Du Toit tied for seventh at 17 under on Sunday at the IRS Prima Malaysian Open at The Mines Resort & Golf Club, six shots back of winner David Puig of Spain.

Du Toit was in a position to miss the cut halfway through his second round but rallied to shoot a 64 and see the weekend. He then fired a 62 in the third round to rocket up the leaderboard before a 71 settled him into seventh.

“Going from basically the cutline to three or four inside the number and in the thick of it a little bit I felt like I was on the house money bit and just had a great round three, which got me right into it,” said Du Toit. “Unfortunately, I didn’t play my best on the last round, but all things considered going from the cutline to contention to finishing top 10 was a solid start to the year and I’m excited to get going over here.”

His next target is to earn his way into some of the co-sanctioned events like next week’s New Zealand Open or one of men’s golf’s majors, like the British Open.

“I was pretty close last week being in contention in Malaysia. There was three spots for the Open,” said Du Toit. “It might be a little tougher to do that, don’t think they just give away spots so I definitely lost a bit of an opportunity last week, but I’d love to do that.

“I just still try and play my best, make as many cuts as I can.”

Du Toit has his next chance to do just that this week at the International Series Oman at Al Mouj Golf in Muscat, Oman. Toronto’s Richard T. Lee is also in the tournament.

PGA TOUR – Five Canadians are in the field at this week’s Mexico Open at Vidanta Vallarta in Vallarta, Mexico. Taylor Pendrith of Richmond Hill, Ont., is the top-ranked member of the Canadian contingent, entering the week at 62nd in the FedEx Cup standings. Mackenzie Hughes (72) of Dundas, Ont., and Ben Silverman (99) of Thornhill, Ont., are also in the field, as are unranked players Stuart Macdonald of Vancouver and Roger Sloan of Merritt, B.C.

OUTSPOKEN HUGHES – Hughes, who is on the PGA Tour’s player advisory council for another year, remains outspoken about the upstart LIV Golf circuit. He spoke to CBS while on the course of last week’s Genesis Invitational about the ongoing rivalry.

“Now we’re in a place where I think fans are just generally a little bit fed up with it, to be honest,” said Hughes. “Those are the people that drive our sport so I’d love to appeal to the masses a lot more.

“Certainly, the way we’re going right now, to me, isn’t quite it.”

DP WORLD TOUR – Aaron Cockerill of Stony Mountain, Man., is the lone Canadian in this week’s Kenya Open at Muthaiga Golf Club in Nairobi. He finished second at the event in 2022.

LPGA TOUR – Brooke Henderson of Smiths Fall, Ont., is the lone Canadian in the field at Honda LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club’s Old Course in Chonburi. She sits sixth in the Race to CME Globe standings after placing third at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions on Jan. 18 and tying for 16th at the LPGA Drive On Championship.

MEN’S NCAA – Calgary’s Hunter Thomson won his season opener with eight birdies in the final round of the Palmas del Mar Collegiate tournament in Humacao, Puerto Rico. He won the event by two strokes on Feb. 13, helping the University of Michigan to a fourth-place finish.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 21, 2024.

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