Coming off a second-place finish at the Canadian Amateur last week, Garrett Rank posted another impressive showing south of the border at the prestigious U.S. Amateur at the Olympia Fields Country Club in Illinois this week.
Through 36-holes on Monday and Tuesday, the Elmira native finished in a tie for 36th at two over par, securing a spot in the match play tournament which began on Wednesday.The run ended there though, as American Sepp Straka knocked him out three and two in the round of 64.
The 27-year-old former Elmira Sugar King and current NHL referee played in the tournament last year as well, that time making it through to the round of 16.
No Canadian has captured the U.S Amateur title since Gary Cowan won at Wilmington Golf Club in 1971.
It’s an extremely difficult tournament to win, since the best amateur golfers from across the world play in the historic event each year.
It’s an event that has been won by golf legends like Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Phil Mickelson and Bobby Jones.
Unlike the more conventional stroke play tournaments where the lowest score wins, match play sees players compete head to head with one other golfer each round, with points earned for scoring the lowest on each hole.
The field starts with 64 competitors, and is cut in half each round. Last year, Rank made it to the round of 16. Listowel native Corey Conners was the top Canadian in 2014, finishing runner-up to Gunn Yang of South Korea.
While there is no prize money up for grabs, the winner earns a spot at the 2016 Masters, U.S Open and the British Open, while the second-place finisher earns an exemption for the former two.