Kimberley product Jared du Toit

Kimberley product Jared du Toit

ASU claims NCAA Regional title, du Toit scores top-five finish

Arizona State University Sun Devils men's golf team claims seventh regional title, will compete at NCAA National Championship in Oregon

The Arizona State University (ASU) Sun Devils, featuring Kimberley product Jared du Toit, claimed the 2016 NCAA New Mexico Regional championship by 12 strokes over Texas Christian University (TCU) at the par-72, 7,562-yard University of New Mexico Champions Course Wednesday afternoon.

With a team score of 12-over par (876) over 54 holes of play, the Sun Devils easily burned by TCU, which finished a distant second at 24-over par (888).

Helping the Sun Devils claim the seventh regional championship in program history was du Toit, who nailed down his first top-five finish of the season, coming into the clubhouse at four-over par (220). Sitting atop the individual leaderboard was du Toit’s Sun Devils teammate Jon Rahm, who won his second consecutive regional championship, finishing four-under par and five strokes ahead of second-place Sean Crocker (Southern California, plus-one).

“It definitely feels good,” said du Toit, the top-ranked amateur golfer in Canada and listed at 85th in the world, over the phone from Albuquerque Wednesday afternoon. “You never really know. Just one golf tournament decides your post-season, so it’s good to get it out of the way and finish on top.

“I never really took myself out of position too often. When I did, most of the time I hit a good shot to recover and made quite a few putts over the week, which is nice. I did a good job of keeping it in play.”

With the tournament crown, du Toit and the Sun Devils booked a ticket to the NCAA National Championship (May 27 to June 1) at Eugene Country Club in Oregon.

The low five teams and low individual not from one of those teams at the NCAA New Mexico Regional tournament all advanced to the national championship. ASU and TCU will be joined by Southern California (third, plus-31), South Florida (fourth, plus-35) and San Diego State (fifth, plus-40).

The UNM Champions Course proved a less-than-friendly host over 54 holes as Rahm — the top-ranked amateur in the World Amateur Golf Rankings — was the lone competitor to finish the tournament below par.

“Conditions were tough,” du Toit said. “Day two was really windy, really gusty and the greens got progressively firmer and faster as the week went on. A couple of the rounds, you thought if the conditions were tough they’d make the pins a little easier, but round two especially, they didn’t really do that. Scores were definitely higher that day and even [in round three] scores were fairly high.”

Du Toit fired rounds of 72, 73 and 75 over the course of the week, remaining relatively consistent from start to finish.

His final tour on the UNM Champions Course got off to a rough start Wednesday. After knocking down a birdie on the 544-yard, par-five first hole, the Kimberley native went on to collect five bogeys through the front nine, falling outside the top-five. He then clawed his way back into a tie for fifth by draining a pair of birdies — one on the 402-yard, par-four 12th and another on the 377-yard, par-four 17th — to finish the tournament at four-over.

The 2016 season has been one of monumental proportion for du Toit — his first go around with the Sun Devils after transferring from the University of Idaho and the Vandals golf program at the conclusion of the 2015 campaign.

du Toit was named to the All-Pac-12 Second Team, recognition of his success on the links, with the teams being voted upon by Pac-12 Conference head golf coaches.

“As a golfer and even not as a golfer, I’ve learned so much this year,” du Toit said. “It’s been an awesome year and I can’t express how awesome the guys have been to each other. We really do a good job of blending together. All of us come from completely different places, completely different backgrounds and we mesh together as one. We’re all really good friends.

“My goal was to be first team and I finished off kind of poorly at the Pac-12 Conference Championship and missed [the first team] by one or two spots. It’s just one of those things that you try not to worry about.

“It definitely is very cool to be recognized within the conference.”

The former Selkirk Secondary School student racked up four top-10 finishes during his first season of Pac-12 competition, including at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational (T-8), Amer Ari Invitational (T-10), Prestige at PGA West (seventh) and Lamkin Grips SD Classic (eighth).

With the win, ASU has struck for seven regional titles in its history (1991, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2009, 2016). Rahm was the individual regional winner at the 2015 NCAA San Diego Regional, which he followed up by winning the 2016 Pac-12 crown and now the 2016 NCAA New Mexico Regional.

“It’s been really cool, [Rahm] obviously does a lot of things really well,” du Toit said of playing alongside the globe’s top-ranked amateur golfer. “All of us try to learn off each other. We’ve got a good group and we all kind of learn from each other and try to gain off each other’s strengths.

“We have a lot of fun together and we seem to be peaking at the right time, which is awesome. Hopefully we can keep it going into nationals.”

The Sun Devils have won two NCAA National Championships, the most recent coming 20 years ago in 1996. The first was in 1991. The program has also produced six individual NCAA champions, including Jim Carter (1983), Phil Mickelson (1989, 1990, 1992), Todd Demsey (1993) and Alejandro Canizares (2003).

“This will be my first national championship and from what I’ve heard, it’s a marathon, not a sprint,” du Toit said. “You’ve just got to keep yourselves in it.

“We’re so fired up for nationals. It’s been a big goal. Regionals, nothing is really given to you. It’s a huge weight off our back getting through regionals and even nicer that we won it. We’re all really excited to get to nationals and show the people what we can do.”

Just Posted

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 6 -12: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

Supporters — and shoppers — lined up waiting at the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store on 8th Avenue South, waiting for the doors to open on the store's first day of operations since the pandemic forced its closure. (Photo courtesy Kate Fox)
CHCA Thrift Store re-opens in Cranbrook

After a closure of 15 months, due to the pandemic, the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store on 8th Avenue South has once again opened its doors for business.

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read