While his co-workers have returned to the rink, referee Garrett Rank is still hitting the links. The NHL official is competing at the U.S. Mid-Amateur Golf Tournament at Sankaty Head Golf Club in Nantucket.
From the USGA:
Garrett Rank, 34, of Canada, who is entering his fifth season as an NHL referee next week, is the only one of the top 12 seeds to reach the Round of 16. Rank made three straight birdies to close out 2007 U.S. Amateur Public Links runner-up Cody Paladino, of West Hartford, Conn., 2 and 1, in the morning, then posted a 5-and-3 win over Matthew Galloway, of Tampa, Fla., in the afternoon.
“I’ve played the back nine well all week,” said Rank. “I made six birdies on the back nine in stroke play, and I made four birdies in my match this morning. I just like the back nine. I hit some good shots, made a couple putts and hung in there on the few holes where I kind of got out of position.”
Rank, currently the 74th-ranked amateur in the world per WAGR, finished second in the 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur, prior to making his NHL debut in 2015. The Elmira, Ontario, native has since gone on to officiate 377 National Hockey League Games.
He also took part in the 2019 event, placing 33rd.
“It’s definitely different from two years ago when I was trying to get to [NHL] games in the middle of the [U.S. Mid-Am], work games and come back.”
“I’m exhausted right now. My feet hurt from the 30 holes that I played today. Just go get some rest for [Wednesday]. It’s still a long week. Nothing has been accomplished yet.”
The Round of 16 gets underway early Wednesday morning, with the quarterfinals slated to start in the afternoon. The semi-finals and final will take place on Friday.
After that, Rank can shift his thoughts from irons and fairways to whistles and ice.
“I’m here to play golf this week and haven’t really thought about hockey at all. Once this week is over, I’ll start reading the rules and get back to work.”
The NHL season kicks off October 12. Plenty of time for Rank to read up on cross-checking and squeeze in some preseason action.
Here’s more on how Rank balances life on the ice with his time on the green: