This year just keeps getting better and better for Elmira’s Garrett Rank.
The golfer and NHL referee has once again won the Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur tournament in Bromont, Que., qualifying him for another chance to take on the professionals at the Canadian Open next year.
He was also asked to join the national amateur golf team, representing Canada and will be heading to Cancun, Mexico later this month to hit the links. But that isn’t all. Rank will also be joining his fellow National Hockey League referees at the preseason training camp in a couple of weeks.
Rank has been a busy guy, but you wouldn’t have guessed it looking at his scores throughout the Mid-Am last week. He finished up with a 65, seven under par.
“I had a really good week. I played quite well,” he said, adding that he accomplished what he set out to do. “My goal throughout the week was to win and to get back to the Canadian Open.”
He’s won the Men’s Mid-Amateur tournament three years in a row now, but says the competition still presents a challenge.
“You still have to play well and shoot low scores. There are a lot of really good players out there, but I think I am at a bit of an advantage after playing nine weeks in a row against some of the highest competition in amateur golf,” he said. “Some of these guys have jobs, families and other responsibilities, so I am sure that gives me a bit of a competitive advantage, but you still have to go out there and play well.”
According to Rank, there was a moment on the third day of play that gave him the confidence he needed to steam ahead and win.
“I got off to a really nice start on the third round. I birdied the second, third and fourth hole. I was five strokes behind going into that third round, and that got me ahead right away and I was only one point behind,” he said. “That was a really good thing that built my confidence. I knew I was in the zone and I just played solid golf when I knew I was in contention.”
He just finished up at the Canadian Open in Oakville in July, shooting a respectable three-under, earning himself the 77th spot on the leader board. He is already thinking about next year.
“I am just going to continue to work on my game. I am planning on playing a few more tournaments at the beginning of next summer, and I’ll just try and build on the experiences that I have had playing this summer,” he shared. “I will also just be playing and practicing in Elmira.”
It isn’t just about golf for Rank, however. He may still be in summer mode, but his winter job start date is coming up fast. Rank was just hired on as one of the newest full time hockey referees in the NHL.
“I will be in the NHL training camp from Sept. 10 to 13,” he said, adding that he still isn’t sure where his first game as a full time ref will be. “I will get my 73-game schedule and I just have to be where I have to be on game days.”