NHL referee makes the cut at RBC Canadian Open

garrett rank
USA Today Sports Images
28-year-old NHL referee and cancer survivor Garrett Rank made the cut this week at the RBC Canadian Open playing as an amateur.
By Matt S. Craig

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Saturday, July 23, 2016 | 4:04 p.m.

If the visionary and prophetic film "Happy Gilmore" taught us anything, I guess it's that hockey and golf aren't too far apart.

At least I think that's what Garrett Rank would say, a 28-year-old amateur golfer and professional hockey referee from Elmire, Ontario, who just made the cut at the RBC Canadian Open.

His full-time job is as an NHL referee, after being promoted from the minor leagues earlier this year. But with it being the offseason and all, Rank is up for a little golf. After qualifying for the tournament by winning the 2015 Mid Amateur Championship, he proceeded to fire off rounds of 69 and 75 to make the cut at even par.

He spoke with PGATour.com to explain how he keeps his game sharp during the season.

“I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t take my clubs with me when I was on the road,” he said with a big smile. “I think it helps me and makes it a little easier for me because I know that this isn’t the end of the world, whether I shot 65 or 75.”

Amazingly, that's not even the most incredible part. Rank was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011, but overcame it and maintains the physical shape required to be both a referee and a world-class amateur golfer.

I don't know about you, but I know who I'm rooting for this weekend at Glen Abbey.


Matt S. Craig is a PGA.com intern and a Digital Sports Production student at Ball State University.