NHL referee Garrett Rank became the second Canadian to win the Western Amateur, finishing with a 3 and 2 victory against Daniel Wetterich on Saturday at Point O’ Woods Golf & Country Club in Benton Harbor, Mich.
Rank, who qualified for the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock, trailed in all four of his matches. He was 1 down after five holes in the final before turning it around with a birdie on No. 7. Wetterich, who is from Cincinnati, graduated from Ohio State last spring.
Rank joins Jim Nelford as the only Canadians to win the event. Next he’s scheduled to play in the Canadian Mid-Amateur on Aug. 20-23 before reporting to NHL training camp in early September.
“I have no regrets about not being professional,” he said, according to the Western Amateur website. “I have no doubt I could be a great pro and could do well in the game of golf. But I love my job. I have one of the coolest jobs in the world. I know how the ups and downs of golf work and have seen a lot of great players not make it.”
He finished fifth in stroke play, which ended Thursday. Rank beat Arizona’s David Laskin 2 and 1 to reach the final.