Canadian amateur Jared du Toit is just a shot off the lead at the 2016 RBC Canadian Open through 36 holes, and the British Columbia native is the unlikely candidate to end the Canadian drought in their national championship.
Dustin Johnson and Luke List share the lead at Glen Abbey Golf Club at 7 under par, while du Toit is part of a three-way tie for third with Kelly Kraft and Jon Rahm.
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du Toit has familiarity with Rahm, as the two were teammates at Arizona State University -- that is, until Rahm turned pro. In his junior season at Tempe, du Toit was an All-America Honorable Mention after notching five top-10 finishes. The amateur transferred to Arizona State from the University of Idaho, where he played his first two seasons, including winning the Big Sky Conference championship in his sophomore year.
This is rather unexpected from du Toit, who is ranked 60th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. In fact, du Toit had never played host Glen Abbey until this week. Now he has an opportunity to become a national hero.
"It's the first time I've had to sign autographs after a round, so that was awesome," said du Toit on Thursday. "It's definitely in the top-three rounds I've played in my career, feeling wise."
The last time a Canadian won the Canadian Open was 1954, when Pat Fletcher, who was actually born in England, won the title at Point Grey. Carl Keffer is the only Canadian-born champion, winning in 1909 and 1914.