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‘Traveling circus’ leads Canada’s Jared du Toit to Savannah

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Conditional Korn Ferry Tour pro finished eighth in Chile to earn start at Club Car Championship, with chance to set up his season

    Written by Adam Stanley @Adam_Stanley

    It’s been a nice month at home for Jared du Toit after a worldwide, whirlwind start to his 2024. But with a Korn Ferry Tour start at this week’s Club Car Championship at The Landings Golf & Athletic Club – earned via a strong showing last month – the Canadian is more eager than ever to keep his schedule in North America moving forward.

    “I’ve just been through the moon to be into bigger events that mean something,” said du Toit, 28, who punched his ticket to Savannah with a T8 at the Astara Chile Classic presented by Scotiabank last month. “It’s been a lot of fun.”

    The name of du Toit may register as the precocious amateur who played in Sunday’s final group at the 2016 RBC Canadian Open, en route to a T9 finish. Since then, though, his career trajectory hasn’t launched the way that so many thought it would.

    But now, with seven years of professional experience under his belt, a renewed sense of confidence and a clean bill of health, he’s looking at 2024 with nothing but positives.

    “I feel like I’ve been slowly chipping away for a while,” said du Toit this week. “I had a lot of good signs in Canada last year, but I just didn’t play well enough to lock up Korn Ferry Tour status. There were just a handful of weeks where if I had a better last day or one better round I’d be punching my ticket right to Final Stage. That didn’t work out – so it was just a gauntlet of Q-Schools.”

    Du Toit teed it up at PGA TOUR Q-School presented by Korn Ferry last fall, in addition to Q-Schools for the DP World Tour and Asian Tour. He advanced through PGA TOUR Q-School’s Second Stage, finally, and he also earned status in Asia.

    He felt like his game was in good shape after the 2023 PGA TOUR Canada season and wanted to sign up for more than one Q-School at the end of last year, he said, because he didn’t want just one or two weeks to “determine his entire year.” Getting through PGA TOUR Q-School’s Second Stage was a “huge monkey off” his back, du Toit said, but Q-School’s Final Stage was a “buzzkill,” as he finished T119, 10 strokes outside the cut line for guaranteed Korn Ferry Tour starts.

    “Just had a tough week on two difficult courses in difficult conditions,” he said. “Now I had to go to Asia – in my mind I was hoping I would play well enough at (PGA TOUR Q-School) Final (Stage) and I just wouldn’t need to go. That didn’t happen so I was kind of bummed there. I knew I was playing great and liked what I was doing.

    “Played great in Asia and then it was like, ‘OK, I don’t know anything about this tour’ – but I played well enough to get some starts and let’s see how it goes.”

    Du Toit’s effort on the other end of the world began by just planning for one week of travel, but that turned into five after various mathematical dominos fell his way. Turned out, his Q-School finish was enough for a spot in the Astara Chile Classic presented by Scotiabank (perhaps a good Canadian omen, as the bank’s headquarters is in Toronto), and he made the most of it with a T8 that secured his spot this week in Savannah.

    Jared Du Toit makes his first start of the season at the Astara Chile Classic

    The Korn Ferry Tour’s reshuffle of conditional members will occur after the next two events – this week’s Club Car Championship at The Landings Golf & Athletic Club and the LECOM Suncoast Classic in two weeks. If du Toit has a decent-enough week in Savannah, starting Thursday, he should be in good shape for the rest of the year.

    The Arizona State alum is happy to be back to 100% after a left-shoulder injury sidelined him for two months last year. One doctor said he needed surgery, another said rehab would do it, and he listened to the latter – “It was a good little mental reset,” he said – with a good place to play in front of him.

    He has seen and relished the success of his countrymen on the PGA TOUR in recent years, including Nick Taylor, who last summer became the RBC Canadian Open’s first Canadian winner in 69 years. Du Toit will see fellow TOUR winner Adam Hadwin in Arizona (Taylor has a house in the Scottsdale area, which has been du Toit’s home base since college) or longtime pal Stuart Macdonald, who plays on PGA TOUR Americas.

    “A lot is schedule dependent,” du Toit said with a knowing laugh, having racked up tens of thousands of air miles already this year. “The traveling circus of professional golf – you’re more at home on the road.”

    Alas, du Toit’s golf journey in 2024 has brought him back to the Korn Ferry Tour. The carrot at the end of this season, on this Tour, is huge, he said. And good play is set to help him achieve his ultimate goal.

    “The Korn Ferry Tour … the great thing is that so many guys are eager to get out there,” du Toit said. “You’re almost a week away from the PGA TOUR. A couple of good weeks and you can turn a good week into a win and you’re almost #TOURBound.

    “With the decent start and me playing pretty well, I just feel like if I take care of my business, I definitely have a good shot. I’m pumped to try.”

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