The unlikely champion that almost became champion was somewhat unsure of himself as he faced the pinnacle of his life in golf so far in Sunday’s final round of the RBC Canadian Open.
Amateur Jared du Toit had earned his way into the final group with Brandt Snedeker, who he trailed by one on Saturday evening, to set up a Canadian party for the finale.
“I pulled the three wood out and I was thinking about pulling the driver, just better my chances of hitting the face and went with the three wood,” said du Toit of his opening tee shot.
“Once I got the first hole out of the way, I felt pretty good. I was just so excited to be out there and in the final group in the atmosphere. I really wasn’t thinking too much about my score or anything,” he said.
He can think about his score now, for it’s a number that proved certainly that he deserved the national team exemption that got him into the field and also that he belonged this weekend among the best in the world.
He finished with a one-under 71 that left him at nine over through all four rounds, good for a tie for ninth, only three shots behind eventual winner Jhonattan Vegas, and win the Rivermead Trophy as low Canadian.
“Honestly, I had no expectations coming into this week. I thought maybe if I play well and make the cut – I honestly didn’t know. To come out this week and play well, top 10 feels really good,” said du Toit.
“I kind of hit it pretty bad all day. I just kind of got up and down from everywhere, made a lot of putts. Honestly, I got a lot out of my round, so to not have my best stuff and still shoot under par here, final round of the Canadian Open, feels pretty good,” he added.
So too did the reaction from the partisan gallery.
“The atmosphere they were providing was unbelievable. Every tee box, every green, everyone was clapping, hollering, `Go Canada.’ It was truly unbelievable. I’m on cloud nine right now.”
What was to be a learning experience for an up-and-coming amateur turned into just that as he anticipated the future.
“I learned that I love playing on the PGA Tour, especially Canadian Open. Truly unbelievable. I’ve got to thanks Golf Canada for the sponsor exemption as well. I don’t know what to tell you, right now.
“I’m lost for words.”