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NHL referee puts name alongside Nicklaus, Woods as Western Amateur champ

Rank takes home title navigating field of world's top-ranked amateur golfers

by Dan O'Leary @DanOLeary25 / Staff Writer

Rank wins Western Amateur

Referee Garrett Rank wins Western Amateur tournament

NHL referee Garrett Rank faced top amateur golfers from around the world to win the 2019 Western Amateur tournament in Benton Harbor, Michigan

  • 02:43 •

It's official: NHL referee Garrett Rank can play some golf.

Rank, a 31-year-old mid-amateur, picked up his first major amateur title by winning the 2019 Western Amateur at Point O'Woods Golf and Country Club in Benton Harbor, Michigan on Saturday.

He clinched with 3-and-2 victory over Daniel Wetterich in the match play event to take home the trophy.

"I've been chasing a major amateur title for a long time and the dream finally came true today," Rank told Golf Channel. "I'm super thrilled."

After winning the title, he took a pose familiar to hockey fans, hoisting the trophy as one might the Stanley Cup.

Tweet from @WGAChamps: We really hope Hoisting the Thorne becomes a thing.

His name will be on the George R. Thorne trophy now alongside some fairly well known Western Amateur champions like Jack Nicklaus, who won it in 1961, Phil Mickelson (1991) and Tiger Woods (1994).

Tweet from @WGAChamps: ��� How does it feel to earn a place on the George R. Thorne Trophy beside Nicklaus, Crenshaw, Mickelson and Woods? 👂🏻 Hear it straight from The Champ.

Rank, a testicular cancer survivor who just completed his fourth season as an NHL referee, qualified for and played in the 2018 U.S. Open last summer, but missed the cut.

He is next slated to play in the Canadian Mid-Amateur Championship beginning August 20, an event he won three times from 2014-16.

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