OHL ref one win from qualifying for Masters

A referee from the Ontario Hockey League could be playing at The Masters next year. (Brian...

A referee from the Ontario Hockey League could be playing at The Masters next year. (Brian Snyder/Reuters/Files)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:04 AM ET

Garrett Rank might need to take a break from refereeing Ontario Hockey League games in April.

He might have more important things to do.

The 25-year-old from Elmira, Ont., could instead be playing in the Masters. Yes, that Masters, the big golf tournament held annually in Augusta, Ga.

Rank will take on three-time champion Nathan Smith of Pittsburgh in the 36-hole final of the U.S. Mid-Amateur championship Thursday at the Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Ill., after winning a pair of matches Wednesday. The Mid-Am is the American championship for golfers 25 and older.

After beating Matthew Mattare of New York 3 and 2 in the quarterfinals, Rank, the youngest player in the field, booked himself a berth in the final by edging Todd White of Spartanburg, S.C., in the semis.

"I'm used to high-pressure situations," Rank said on the tournament website. "You definitely get nerves officiating. There are big moments and you draw off those. It definitely can't be of harm to the golf game. I have aspirations of playing professional golf and would love to play the PGA Tour.

"But by the same token, I have been to some NHL developmental camps for referees. The problem is, you can't achieve something like that with only 75% of your eggs in one basket."

Rank will have his hands full against Smith, who won the U.S. Mid-Am in 2003, 2009 and 2010. He beat two-time winner Tim Jackson of Germantown, Tenn., 3 and 1 in the semifinals after downing Corby Segal of Santa Clarita, Calif. in the quarters.


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