DeMarco’s late rally not enough to claim Ontario amateur golfing title
Garrett Rank is thrilled to have won the Ontario Men’s Amateur golf championship.
But for a guy as competitive as Rank, being the wire-to-wire leader at the St. Thomas Golf and Country Club wasn’t quite good enough.
He wanted to be better. Rank entered Friday’s final round with a comfortable fiveshot lead at 5 under par. He was in control of the tournament pretty much from the start, firing an opening-round 66. No one else came close to pushing him for 70 holes until he double-bogeyed 16 and bogeyed 17 on the final day. By then he’d built a comfortable enough lead to allow him to make a couple of mistakes.
Rank finished with a 2-over 74 on the day and was 2 under for the tournament. LaSalle’s Thomas DeMarco, playing out of the Essex Golf and Country Club, finished two shots back at even par, finishing with a birdie on the tough 18th to finish alone in second spot. Thomas Giroux from the Club at Hilton had a strong final round, ending the day with a 2-under 68 to finish at 1 over for the tournament. “I just didn’t putt well the last two days,” Rank said. “I four-putted 16 and three-putted 17. I was disappointed in how I played the last two days, but I guess it was good enough for the win and met the goal of leaving this week with the trophy. “Obviously I’m mad right now, but at the end of the day I’ll be happy and glad that I was able to come away with the trophy.” Rank plays out of Elmira. He competed in the U.S. Open this year. He has played a lot of good courses, but on the final day St. Thomas Golf and Country Club gave the NHL referee the same kind of trouble it gave every other golfer on the week. Rank was the only player to finish under par over the four rounds.
“The greens were obviously the defence out here,” he said. “The course is great. It’s in great condition. It’s firm and fast. The last two days I just didn’t leave myself in the right spot and I was putting defensively. When I have a putt that I could go after, you are kind of in your own head and scared to leave a three- or four-footer.” Rank said it’s also about how you win. “I don’t want to sound arrogant or cocky, but I knew if I came here and played good that I would have a chance to win,” he said. Most golfers conceded the tournament to Rank after the first two rounds, but DeMarco, playing in the same threesome as Rank, would have liked to put more pressure on him. But even when Rank four-putted 16, DeMarco felt Rank was in control.
“I knew he was too good of a player to let that go,” DeMarco said of Rank’s lead. “I just really couldn’t get anything going at the start. I knew if I could get a few birdies at the start, he’d kind of feel the pressure. It was fun to watch, fun to play against. I gave him the best I got and it wasn’t meant to be.” DeMarco said he played the St. Thomas Early Bird tournament. “It gave me a nice preview, but when I got here this week, the course was a lot different,” he said. “It was way harder. The rough was grown out, the greens were a lot harder. I was happy with how I played.”