Congratulations to NHL referee Garrett Rank on his tournament win at the Golf Association of Ontario’s Investors Group Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship. Rank finished the tourney, held at Kitchener’s Westmont Golf and Country Club, seven-under-par.
“It feels good!” said an elated Rank. “Any time you can win a tournament and put yourself in a winning position, it feels really good.”
Rank battled the elements – specifically, the wind – to claim victory.
“I almost blew away on Tuesday, it was that windy!” said Rank. “I just knew that everyone had to play in it and I just played my way through it. I knew if I could keep my score around par I would be near the lead.”
“In the second and third rounds I made some key putts. I didn’t make everything but I was really solid. I took advantage of my good iron shots and made birdies and some good par saves.”
Rank made his NHL debut this past season, working a game between the Minnesota Wild and Buffalo Sabres on January 15, 2015. He worked nine games in the NHL during the 2014-15 season, spending most of his time in the AHL.
“I never knew for sure which way Garrett was going to go – to golf or refereeing hockey – but to be that good at two things is really remarkable,” said his brother Kyle. “All I knew is he would be really successful at whichever one he chose because he’s an amazing person.”
The Elmira, Ontario native’s background in golf and officiating has taught him some important skills that help with both careers. “You need patience for both jobs,” Rank said. “You have similar mindsets. In refereeing, people don’t always agree with you and your emotions become heightened. You can use that in golf, too. You want to keep a positive mindset on the course.”
“As a cancer survivor,” Rank said, “having a fan yelling at you about a call or making bogey on your last hole doesn’t bother you quite as much as it once did.”
Rank will return to the links in July, representing Canada at the Pan Am games at Angus Glen in Markham, Ontario. He’ll also play at the RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey in Oakville from July 23-26.
“Obviously, being a professional referee now makes it really hard for me golfing but I still get my summers off and I still get in my rounds when I can,” said Garrett. “I’ll do my best [to stay competitive].”
He’s doing a great job. Best of luck to Rank in his upcoming tournaments and for the 2015-16 hockey season.