Now that his hockey season is over, referee Garrett Rank is doing what many National Hockey League players do: hitting the golf course. Rank, though, is doing it at the USGA’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship.
Rank and his partner, Joseph Deraney, have advanced to the match play round, which runs through Wednesday, by shooting 9 under in their opening round — second best in the tournament.
The River Course has played nearly 2 strokes harder than Cassique in Round 1 of the #USFourBall, but don’t tell that to Joseph Deraney and Garrett Rank!
They carded a 9-under 62 on River, the best of the day on either course.
— USGA (@USGA) May 20, 2023
This is not the Elmira, Ontario, native’s first time at the US Amateur Four-Ball. Rank has competed before, finishing second in 2012; he was forced to drop out of last year’s tournament – along with a USGA qualifying event – when the NHL recalled him to work standby at a Stanley Cup Playoff game between the Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues.
Rank officiated four postseason games during this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, all alongside fellow referee Kevin Pollock. The duo handled Rangers/Devils Game 1, Oilers/Kings Game 3, Stars/Wild Game 4, and Jets/Golden Knights Game 5.
The eighth-year referee is one of two NHLers playing the event. Retired goaltender Mike Dunham (New Jersey Devils, Nashville Predators, New York Rangers, Atlanta Thrashers, New York Islanders) is also taking part. Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was also in the initial field.
Of the three, only Rank made it through to the Round of 32.
He and Deraney have advanced further, making it to Tuesday’s Round of 16, where they’re squaring off against Tennessee high schoolers Blades Brown and Jackson Herrington.
The Championship Match is set for Wednesday. Here’s hoping Rank will be teeing off with the title on the line.