MAMARONECK – Garrett Rank left Winged Foot after playing the first round of the U.S. Amateur Four Ball Championship, drove to Pennsylvania to officiate a minor league hockey game and came back on Sunday to play the second round.
The 28-year-old Canadian knows how to juggle his vocation and his passion.
Naturally, the Hershey Bears and Toronto Marlies went into overtime, but Rank managed to get seven hours of sleep before heading back out with Patrick Christovich to qualify for match play.
They shot a 5-under 65 on the West Course to get in with a 10-under total.
“It’s the conference finals and two pretty good teams,” said Rank, who’s been on the whistle for 31 NHL games and 46 AHL games this season. “They played a close game the night before. The third period, they entered tied and I knew eventually it was going to go to overtime. I was just hoping they weren’t there for four or five overtimes. I love work, love hockey, love golf, love competing so I’m enjoying the best of both worlds right now.”
The former Canadian Mid-Am winner is hoping to be a full-time NHL official by next season.
Rank and Christovich, a top amateur from New Orleans who’s playing in his 11th USGA championship, rolled in three birdies in four holes to get the round going. They carded just one bogey late in the round, advancing to match play with room to spare.
Clarity is apparently overrated.
“It’s a good thing when you don’t think, right?” said Rank, noting the hip and legs were a little weary. “You just kind of stay out of your own way. We relate it to being kind of an artist and not a scientist. I’ve played some of my best rounds when I’ve been tired or sore or haven’t gotten a good sleep.”
Going low, staying low: The stroke play medalists were Brandon Matthews and Patrick Ross, former Temple University teammates, who backed up a 63 on the East Course Saturday with a 63 on the West Course Sunday to post a 14-under total of 126.
Back to work: A shortage of birdies sent Luke Feehan (Mahopac) and Max Christiana (Westchester) back to work. The former Boston College teammates shot a 2-over 72 on the West Course to finish with a 2-over 142 total.
“Putts didn’t fall and fairways were missed,” Feehan said. “We were grinding out there. We knew we had to come out and shoot 4- or 5- under to have a chance. We had some looks at birdie early and missed.”
They never got any momentum, carding three birdies and five bogeys on a day set up for scoring.
“It would’ve been nicer playing the East, needing to get a couple of shots under par,” Christiana said. “Unfortunately we didn’t play our best on the East yesterday, so that made things even a little bit tougher on the West today.”
Sam Bernstein (Century) did not advance to match play, either. He and partner Greg Shuman were 1-under on the East, finishing with a 140 total. Zachary Plutzik (Quaker Ridge) partnered with Ben Wescoe to shoot a 73 on the West, finishing at 7-over.