fbpx
-2.5 C
Elmira
Friday, December 6, 2019
Connecting Our Communities

It’s been a busy summer on the links for Garrett Rank

The NHL season done, Elmira golfer finds himself rubbing elbows with some of the game’s best

TRENDING

Restored Victorian home in Elmira the subject of TV competition

Along with the influx of visitors that comes with the holiday season, Elmira will see one new...

New MP jumps to the next stage

Ever since he was elected as the new Liberal Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga during the October...

Sleeping Beauty wakens to the panto treatment

The classic story of Sleeping Beauty takes on a twist – as well as a boo and...

Meet the candidates

By Veronica Reiner & Aneta Rebiszewski Five candidates are vying for your vote in...

THIS WEEK

Elmira
broken clouds
-2.5 ° C
-1.7 °
-3.3 °
86 %
3.1kmh
75 %
Fri
5 °
Sat
-2 °
Sun
0 °
Mon
4 °
Tue
7 °

Elmira golfer Garrett Rank was back in town this week after a major showing at the U.S. Open last month. Sharing the green with some of the sport’s premier players at the Open in Southampton, New York in June, Rank was one of only a handful of Canadians to qualify for the tournament.

For the Elmira native, who, when he is not on the green, also works as a professional referee in the NHL,  reaching the U.S. Open marks a highpoint in his diverse athletic career.

“It was one of the greatest experiences in my golf career, probably one of the coolest things I’ve done so far in my life. Just to be out there competing in a major championship with the world’s best golfers and being able to be there with my family and friends, it was really cool as well,” said Rank.

“I’m a little bit disappointed with the way I played, but learned a ton about competing at that level, and definitely took a lot of positives away from the week.”

It was a challenging contest that saw Rank miss the cut with an 83 in the first round followed by 75 in the second.

“The golf course was amazing – very hard – but it was a pretty cool week,” said Rank’s brother, Kyle, who was at the tournament caddying for his sibling. “It’ll be awesome to be able to look back on future years and just sit around and say, ‘yeah we were there.’”

Like his brother, Kyle Rank has also made a considerable impression in Elmira himself through his work at the Friends of Hockey charitable organization.

“I think obviously he would have liked to maybe play a little bit better, but under those circumstances and the difficulty of the course, it was a pretty good week.”

But just reaching the U.S. Open was an impressive feat, as golfers had to compete through a gauntlet of qualifying rounds, beginning with the locals. Of the 8,537 competing at the local level tournaments, a mere 500 individuals advanced to the next round. Rank passed the local round at a tournament May 16 at the Mission Inn Resort and Club in Florida.

At the sectionals, the competition tightened as a further 860 players were whittled down to the top 78 to advance to the U.S. Open. Playing at the June 4 competition at the Ansley Golf Club in Georgia, Rank again clinched first in the top three spots out of 43 competitors, earning him a final pass to the U.S. Open later that month.

Having made it to the higher reaches of the sport, Rank is eager to qualify again for the Open.

“Yeah, I mean I’ve tried to qualify for the last five or six years and finally made it, and now that I’ve been there and experienced what it’s like, and have a taste for it, I’m definitely looking forward to trying to get back there,” he said.

Rank has a rather unique claim to fame as an athlete. A professional golfer competing at a world class tier on the one hand, and a referee for the NHL on the other, Rank has somehow been able to balance the two over his life.

“So I grew up like any Canadian kid playing hockey in the wintertime and golf in the summertime,” explained Rank. He pursued both sports with an equal passion, and  won a scholarship to the University of Waterloo on his abilities as a golfer and hockey player. Eventually, Rank moved over to reffing in hockey, but continued to get in his time at the range.

“It was kind of what was going to happen first. Was I going to make the pros in reffing? Or was I going to make the pros in golf, and the NHL came up and offered me a contract, and my golf was going really well at that point, but it was something that I couldn’t say no to,” he said.

 

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

LIVING HERE

Strong demand for traditional real Christmas trees can exceed supply

With Christmas just a few weeks away there’s only a short time left to pick out the perfect tree, but what will you choose: real or fake? Many retailers are facing dilemmas that...

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

You obviously love community journalism. Thanks for visiting today. If you have a great local story, let us know.

Kings win another pair, solidify hold on first place

Seven is considered a lucky number. The Sugar Kings likely agree after putting up seven goals twice on route to a pair...

Woolwich to attach overdue water bills to property taxes in bid to simplify collections process

Looking to simplify the collection process for overdue water and sewer bills – and increase the chance of getting its hands on...

Getting drivers to slow down a slow process in Woolwich Township

Traffic issues, particularly speeding, are a frequent source of public complaints received by Woolwich officials. Often more perception than reality, the topic is...

Answering the childhood question that rolls around at the holidays

Get into the Christmas spirit with a fresh retelling of a classic tale inspired by real events in Elora Community Theatre’s lastest offering.

Jacks fall to second after losing twice over the weekend

Sunday’s lousy weather may not have been to everyone’s liking, but the Wellesley Applejacks might have been the only ones happy...

Even those with jobs are increasingly reliant on food banks

An increasing number of full- and part-time workers across Ontario are accessing food bank services, a trend that can be seen in...
- Advertisement -