Garrett Rank, Ontario, Canada native, was a rising star in two sports growing up. Naturally, as a Canadian, he was thrusted onto the ice as a child and dominated the local rinks. Rank also developed a love for golf at young age, following his brother onto the local course at just age ten. Garrett shortly became a star in both sports, with hopes of pursuing a professional career in either hockey or golf.
Garrett Rank, an NHL referee and cancer survivor, has qualified for the 118th U.S. Open https://t.co/MxiIhYntjx
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 5, 2018
Rank’s life was abruptly flipped upside down when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011, he was just 22 years old. With his sports career set on the back burner, Rank began cancer treatment using chemotherapy. Like many others, chemotherapy produced weight loss, which ultimately ended his competitive hockey career.
Although Rank knew he never could play hockey again, he stayed persistent, and put much of his focus into his golf game.
“Nobody’s body checking you out here on the golf course so the weight loss didn’t really matter,” Rank said.
From the rink to the rough…
NHL ref Garrett Rank has qualified for golf's U.S. Open! pic.twitter.com/e5A3k5mp8c
— Stadium (@WatchStadium) June 6, 2018
As the days grew, so did Rank’s confidence and health. His cancer did not keep him away from the game of hockey for very long, finding a happy medium on the ice, acting as a full time referee in the OHL. Garret Rank’s love for both sports was so deep, he was happy to run away with whatever opportunity came first.
“I was on the Canadian National Team for golf for three seasons while reffing in the OHL, which is the Major Junior League back home, I just said to myself, whatever happens first, is what I’m going to go and roll with.” Said Rank.
— Christian News 360° (@ChristianNew360) June 14, 2018
Shortly after entering the world of refereeing, Rank was offered a full time contract with the most prestigious hockey league in the world, the NHL. Nearly everyone thought Rank would be content with his NHL referee job, and start to look at golf as more of his favorite hobby on the weekends. Garrett Rank was simply not satisfied, just more relaxed and ready to show the world his talents on the golf course.
“There’s really no pressure from golf anymore. I know that I have a job,” Rank reveals to FOX News. “I know that I’m getting a paycheck every couple of weeks, so now golf is a little more fun, and playing at the U.S. Open is the pinnacle of my golf career.” Said Garrett Rank.
Rank, now 30 years old, officially clinched his spot in the PGA U.S. open on Monday, after advancing through the 36 hole qualifying match. Rank posted rounds of 71-71 at a tough Ansley golf course.
After officiating three postseason and 73 regular season games this season, NHL referee Garrett Rank qualified for the 2018 U.S. Open. https://t.co/hWG84zV345
— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) June 5, 2018
During the 2017-2018 NHL season, Garrett Rank refereed 73 regular season games, along with logging three playoff games to his resume.
The U.S. Open, from Shinnecock Hills Golf Course in New York starts today. Good luck Garrett Rank!