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Golfer ramps up his game, building off strong showing

Richard Rank, a long-time Woolwich employee and tireless community volunteer who died last January, will be honoured by having his name affixed to a township road and one of the referees’ rooms at the WMC. [File Photo]

Elmira’s Garrett Rank is playing the best golf of his career.

Elmira’s Garrett Rank tees off at the Players Amateur Championship at Berkeley Hall Golf Club in Bluffton, South Carolina.[Submitted]
Elmira’s Garrett Rank tees off at the Players Amateur Championship at Berkeley Hall Golf Club in Bluffton, South Carolina. [Submitted]
Fresh off shooting a personal best (and course record) 62 and finishing second at the Players Amateur Championship at the Berkeley Hall Golf Club in South Carolina, the Golf Canada team member is poised to add more hardware to his trophy shelf this weekend at the U.S Public Links Championship.

In the stroke play category, Rank finished in a tie for 17th with a score of one under par. But the big prize comes in the match play event, where Rank has battled through to the round of 32. If his strong play continues, he could grab top honours on July 19.

While the results have been solid, Ranks says his game has been “really inefficient on and around the green,” noting a second round that included four three-putts and no up and downs.

The U.S. Public Links is an event the 26-year-old has had success at in the past, having won the stroke play portion last year.

“I think I felt really comfortable and tried to play as best as I could,” Rank told The Observer after his 2013 victory. “The first time I went, it was an eye-opening experience. The next year, you feel a little bit more comfortable, but still a little bit nervous. But the more tournaments you play, the more comfortable you feel.”

While he has won numerous tournaments in his golfing career, including two Ontario University Association Championships and one Canadian University/College Championship while a student at the University of Waterloo, each event poses unique challenges.

Take for example the final round of the Players Amateur on July 12.

After starting the day six shots up on his nearest competitor, Rank launched his tee shot just a couple yards out of bounds of the seventh hole and after four-putting carded a quadruple-bogey. That error allowed Scott Vincent of Zimbabwe to catch up and eventually surpass him for the title.

After the meltdown, Rank stayed positive, tweeting, it was “fun to be in contention and to shoot my personal best … Got to get comfortable playing with (the) lead and closing tournaments. It will come with more opportunities.”

Fortunately, in the gauntlet that is the amateur golfing circuit, he didn’t have to wait long, having started the Public Links event the very next day at the Sand Creek Station Golf Course in Newton, Kansas.

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