BY BRAD ZIEMER
KELOWNA — The win is going to come, probably sooner rather than later, for Jared du Toit.
Du Toit demonstrated that his game is trending in the right direction with a fifth-place finish Sunday at the GolfBC Championship at Gallagher’s Canyon Golf & Country Club. That is a career-best finish on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour circuit for du Toit, the 23-year-old Kimberley native who has only been a pro for a little over a year.
Du Toit started the day tied for second, three shots behind Arizona’s George Cunningham. He played well Sunday. Trouble is, so did Cunningham.
Du Toit shot a four-under 67 Sunday to finish at 16-under par. He was in the tournament until a bogey on the 16th hole. Cunningham finished at 20-under to win by two shots.
Cunningham won the tournament. Du Toit did not lose it.
“I feel very positive,” du Toit said. “I was up on the leaderboard pretty much all week it felt like. And to be there and to be in the mix basically until I made a bogey on 16 felt good. My old college coach used to say the main goal is to be in the mix on the back nine on Sunday and I did that today, so I am pretty optimistic about where things are at.”
Du Toit earned $8,000 for his fifth-place finish. He also earned another $2,500 for being the Freedom 55 Financial Canadian player of the week.
Du Toit was also in the hunt last week in Victoria. He was tied for third heading into the final round there, but struggled to final round of five-over 75. He liked the way he hung in there this time on Sunday.
“Absolutely, I’ve been in the mix seven of my eight rounds the last little while and these guys are pretty good out here so I am pretty happy with all that and hopefully I can continue the trend, keep getting in the mix and keep knocking on the door for that elusive victory.”
Du Toit received support from a good-sized gallery that followed him throughout the day. He pulled to within one of Cunningham early in the round but could not reel him in.
“At the end of the day I did a lot of good things, hit the ball really well and made a couple birdies early I hoped would have got him (Cunningham) thinking a bit. But it turns out it didn’t. Not much you can do about that.”
Du Toit closed out his round with a nice par after finding trouble off the tee.
“I had to make the punch-out par there, which turned out to be pretty nice because once you get near the top of the leaderboard it really hurts those spots you slip. So that par felt good.”
Taylor Pendrith of Richmond Hill, Ont., closed with a one-over 72 and finished tied for 24th at nine-under par. Ryan Williams of Vancouver shot a five-under 66 Sunday to finish tied for 30th at eight-under. West Vancouver’s David Rose finished tied for 35th after a two-over 74 Sunday left him at seven-under par.
Vancouver’s Stuart Macdonald played as a single as the first player out Sunday morning. He raced around the course in two hours and 45 minutes and shot an even-par 71. He tied for 63rd place at one-under par.