DeMarco’s late rally not enough to claim On­tario amateur golf­ing ti­tle

Windsor Star - - SPORTS - MOR­RIS DALLA COSTA

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.”

Thomas DeMarco

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