Rank acknowledged his mindset and approach to this tournament is much different than it was a year ago. In 2018, he was more relaxed, hoping to see where his game stood heading into the big week ahead. This year, however, he comes to Dogwood believing he has a chance to win.
His approach to Wednesday was simple, shoot 2 under every nine holes he plays. His score indicated as much, but not without a few bumps along the way.
He bogeyed on hole 16 after his shot broke and ended up trickling into the water. He marched to 17 with the bad performance still on the mind, and bogeyed again. He salvaged the rest of the back nine by birdieing on 18.
“That’s where I have to get better mentally,” Rank said of his thoughts on 16 and 17. “(Although) I was happy with the birdie on 18. … It always makes lunch taste a little bit better.”
Outside of the Dogwood, however, not much has changed for Rank. He still officiates NHL games full time, and still holds the title of cancer survivor, overcoming a diagnosis of testicular cancer in 2011.
Despite the change in mindset, approach and who he’s playing with, Rank’s future plans with golf are still the same. He said he played eight rounds during the NHL season, and his transition from the ice to the grass is still as seamless as has it been his entire life.
He acknowledges he gets bored at home during the summer, so golf helps. He likes coming to the Druid Hills Golf Club to play in the Dogwood, and calls it the “best event you can play this week.”
“I like coming down here. The weather is a lot nicer than it is at home,” Rank said.
For the rest of the summer, Rank plans to play in the Northeast Amateur Golf Tournament in East Providence, Rhode Island, the North and South Men’s Amateur Championship in Pinehurst, North Carolina, and the 2019 U.S. Amateur Championship, among others.
“So, it will be a busy summer again,” Rank said. “I kind of have the natural ability to play golf, so I just like competing.”