Elmira golfer Garrett Rank held onto his coveted title last week, securing the Canadian Mid-Amateur Championship for the second year in a row.
Hosted at the Abercrombie Country Club in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Rank took top honors after four days of play against more than 150 competitors from across the country.
“You always go there hoping or believing you’re going to win,” Rank said. “I knew if I played to my abilities that I would have a chance to win and that I’d be right there come the final round. The goal was to go there and try to get back to the Canadian Open, and that’s what happened.”
The Ontario team also took home first for the inter-provincial competition. Woodbridge’s Dave Bunker came just behind Rank in second place, with a score of 284. Wellesley’s Rob Cowan earned a 16th-place finish.
Rank earned first place with a three-under 277 score. Only five other golfers have taken the title more than once.
“I started out with a really good round. I shot 65 in the first round and had a four-stroke lead going into the last days, played solid and played pretty good,” Rank explained. “And I shot 72 the second day and was winning by three, shot 70 the third day. I had four shots going into the last day and just tried to stay really patient. My game was really good all week and I just played well, probably my putting was the best part of my game all week and was really consistent from 10 to 15 feet away.”
And there certainly weren’t perfect golf conditions for the tournament. Due to a rough winter on the East Coast, the course was just getting back into shape, Rank says. He adds it’s a pretty hilly course, and they had two days of wind and one of rain.
The win guarantees him a spot at the 2016 RBC Canadian Open at the Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville next July. He also competed in the national event this year after winning the Canadian Mid-Amateur Championship.
“Every time you’re the defending champion and you go in and defend the championship, it’s nice that all the hard work and time and effort you put in paid off. And I’m excited to go back to the Canadian Open and try to improve on my result there,” Rank said.
This wraps up a successful 2015 golf season for the 27-year-old.
“I was close all summer, had some really good results at the end in the month of August and was happy with how the summer went,” Rank said. “Obviously those experiences earlier on in the summer allowed me to grow as a player and they kind of shone through here at the end of the summer.”
With golf season finished, he starts training camp for his second hockey season as an NHL referee on September 12.