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Mishaps haunt Rank at Spanish golf tourney

An ill-fated third round saw Garrett Rank of Elmira slip down the leaderboard at the World University Golf Championship in Málaga, Spain last week, and ultimately finish 10th.

Rank fired a four-under-par 68 in the first round of the tournament and a 69 in the second round to lead the field of 82 after two days. The third day dawned windy and wet, and he was five over par after 17 holes. A quadruple bogey on the 18th hole, after the ball got caught in a bush, saw him finish with a 10-over-par 82.

After leading the field through two rounds, Elmira's Garrett Rank ran into difficulties in the third round, dropping to tenth.
After leading the field through two rounds, Elmira's Garrett Rank ran into difficulties in the third round, dropping to tenth.

“I played really well the first two rounds and then kind of fell off the face of the mountain,” Rank said.

Rank finished with a total of 293, 12 strokes back of the winner, Gerard Piris Mateu of Spain.

The Canadian men’s team of Rank, Mitchell Evanecz, Phillipe-André Bannon and Mathieu Gingras came in fifth with a team total of 881, 12 strokes behind gold medalist Korea. Japan, Spain and Taipei rounded out the top five.

“We finished six shots out of the medals,” Rank said. “We were looking to medal and it was a possibility the whole time; we just got beat.”

Rank arrived in Spain three days before the tournament started, using the time to get in two practice rounds. Antequera Golf, a course high in the mountains above the city, boasts narrow fairways and small greens, which required Rank to adjust to a different kind of golf.

“If you didn’t hit your ball on the fairway, it would fall of the edge of the cliff,” he said. “I would really call it target golf, where you had to hit a spot and if you missed your spot, you were in trouble.”

Not knowing what calibre of golfers he would be teeing off against, Rank went into the tournament with few expectations, but after playing so well in the first two rounds, he was a bit disappointed with where he finished.

“Going over there, if you had said I would finish in the top 10, I would have taken it before I went. But after the first two rounds when I was in the lead, I would have liked to finish in a higher position.”

Despite the disappointment, it was a great experience to represent the University of Waterloo in an international competition, he said.

Fellow University of Waterloo golfer Tiffany Terrier finished 47th out of 53 women in Spain.

Rank has one more year to go at the University of Waterloo, where he’s studying honours economics with a specialization in business finance. He’s playing in a number of amateur events this summer, starting with the Ontario Amateur Championship in Sudbury July 6-9.

Rank will also be teeing off in two different tournaments in the United States, and hopes to be competing in the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship in London in August.

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