I have quickly come to realize that not only is Garrett Rank an amazing amateur golfer, but he is also a real stand-up guy!
Following Garrett and his 2 playing competitors at the Canadian Mid Amateur Championship in Bromont, Quebec last week, I was fortunate to witness one of the best acts of sportsmanship in competitive golf I have ever seen.
In the final round of the competition, the final group was teeing off on hole #9, and Garrett had just teed off and stepped aside to watch his fellow players hit their tee shots. Golfers typically step back and behind other players as they watch others hit, but Garrett, just as one of the other payers was about to go through their routine, took a few steps forward and in line with the tee markers. Leaning to one side to get a better viewpoint, Garrett noticed that the other player’s golf ball was ever so slightly teed up ahead of the tee markers. Without any hesitation, Garrett said to the player, “You’re just a little ahead of the tee markers“.
What struck me the most was the clean tone that Garrett spoke in, simply stating a fact. I can’t communicate the tone in this blog post, but trust me, it was the smoothest delivery of telling a fellow competitor that they were in breach of the rules of golf. The fellow competitor’s reply was equally as smooth, with a quick “Thanks Garrett“ as his response.
The competitor proceeded to pick up his golf ball, tee up back behind the markers, re-start his routine and rip one down the middle of the fairway. The third player in the group then stepped up, ran through his pre-shot routine and proceeded to rip one down the fairway as well.
No other words about the interaction were spoken by any of the 3 players after the “incident”, but I know for a fact that deep down, all 3 players were thinking the same thing….“that’s what golf’s all about!“.
Fair Play and Sportsmanship at it’s finest.
Rank Makes Aggressive Play During Final Round of Canadian Mid Am
After ripping a drive and leaving himself just 160 yards into the Par 5, Garrett took some extra time to calculate the wind direction and precise yardage left into the well-guarded pin. With bullrush weeds as tall as me and a pond fronting the entire right side of the green, Garrett confidently took dead aim and hit his approach shot.
Ask our Saskatchewan Mid-Am Team Member David Stewart (pictured above with Team Saskatchewan’s Tyler Wright and Shawn McNall) how difficult that pin was to attack…..Dave shot an outstanding 69 in the final round, and I’m pretty sure he, along with the other 68 competitors in the final round, had no thought whatsoever of attacking that pin!
Garrett’s approach landed about 10 feet past the pin and spun back to nestle about 4 feet from the stick.
What struck me the most about this shot by Rank was the aggressive move, combined with complete confidence in his abilities to successfully execute the shot. Sure he had a 4 shot lead at the time over Jordan Irwin, who was in the same final group, but still an amazing shot during the final round of a National Championship with a berth in the 2017 Canadian Open on the line.
Any competitive Amateur golfers reading this Blog Post, if there is one thing I can highly recommend doing at a National Championship if you unfortunately miss the cut like I did….don’t dwell on the negatives of why you missed the cut, go out to the course and support your fellow players and be sure to spend some time watching the final couple groups as they finish. You’ll quickly realize what you need to do to compete at their level and be better prepared for the next Championship you play in. Even better, if you’re as lucky as I was following Garrett Rank’s group, you’ll get to witness some of the purest acts of Sportsmanship, Honesty and Integrity that define the game of golf.