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NHL referee Rank misses cut at U.S. Open

Shoots 75 in second round of first major golf championship, has 'positive experience' at tournament

by Rob Reese @NHLReese / NHL.com Fantasy Editor

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. -- Garrett Rank missed the cut at the 118th U.S. Open on Friday, but that didn't diminish what the NHL referee accomplished at the PGA Tour's second major tournament of the season.

"Overall it was a positive experience," Rank said. "Something that I'll remember for the rest of my life."

 

[ RELATED: NHL referee Rank plays first round at U.S. Open ]

 

Playing alongside fellow Ontario native Mackenzie Hughes and Aaron Baddeley of Australia, Rank shot a 5-over-par 75 in the second round, making him 18-over (tied for 136th) after shooting a 13-over 83 on Thursday. 

After starting his round with a bogey on the par-4 first hole, Rank made consecutive birdies (his first of the tournament) on Nos. 4 and 5 to move to 1-under for the round. However, he finished the front nine with a pair of bogeys to make the turn at 1-over.

The back nine wasn't much different for Rank, who shot a 4-over 39. But the round was less about the total score and more about the buzz the 30-year-old native of Elmira, Ontario, was able to generate.

"I don't think anyone who was 18-over-par was getting the same kind of cheers and support that I was." said Rank, who heard chants of "Let's go stripes" and "Let's go Islanders" throughout his round.

Video: Garret Rank on his experience at the 2018 U.S. Open

Rank, an NHL referee for three seasons, had a following of around two dozen, including some familiar faces and family members from the opening round. One of the spectators was Pat Rodgers, who has been a host family for Rank throughout his amateur golf career and was wearing a signed NHL referee jersey. 

"I stayed with the Rodgers family four straight years while playing in the Northeast amateur golf tournament," Rank said. "It was really cool to see them here today."

Rank, who plays golf about once a month during the NHL season, plans to continue playing on the amateur level throughout the summer in Canada and hopes to qualify for the 2019 U.S. Open, which will be held at Pebble Beach, California. 

"I found a pretty cool niche for golf and my lifestyle in the regular job I have," he said. 

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