RBC Canadian Open turns to amateur to end long quest for Canadian winner
Is it too much to ask that a Canadian, any Canadian, this Canadian in particular, wins the RBC Canadian Open to become the first countryman to do so since 1954?
This Canadian is Jared du Toit, a British Columbia native. He is only 21, an amateur, 60th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, a senior-to-be at Arizona State.
Du Toit begins the final round only a stroke behind and playing in the final pairing with the leader, Brandt Snedeker.
Is it too much to ask? If history is our guide…
Du Toit is the latest iteration of what might be known as the big tease, a Canadian in a position to win — a periodic, if not annual, occurrence that ends in disappointment.
Their ilk, meanwhile, has been a boon to the memory of an otherwise obscure player, Pat Fletcher, the last Canadian to win his national championship. Among those responsible for keeping his memory alive:
— David Hearn. Last year, he took a two-stroke lead into the final round and was serenaded with a chorus of “O Canada” on the first tee. Hearn shot 72 to Jason Day’s 68 and lost by two.
— Graham DeLaet was in third, two shots off the lead in 2014, but finished tied for seventh.
— Adam Hadwin, in only his third PGA Tour start, was in second place entering the final round in 2011, finished tied for fourth, two shots in arrears.
— Mike Weir, only a season removed from winning the Masters, took a two-stroke lead over Vijay Singh into the back nine on Sunday in 2004 only to stumble and eventually lose on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff.
Yes, history informs us that it’s probably too much to ask, particularly of a college kid. But there’s this, from his former college coach, Tim Mickelson:
The last amateur to win a PGA Tour event, incidentally, was Mickelson’s brother Phil, in 1991.
So, Canadians ask in unison, ever hopeful, there’s a chance?