Canadian Open Day 1: Delaet’s yips return

NHL hockey ref Garrett Rank shot 3-under in the opening round of the RBC Canadian Open.

NHL hockey ref Garrett Rank shot 3-under in the opening round of the RBC Canadian Open.

Tough day for some Canadians playing in the wind yesterday. But none had it tougher than Graham DeLaet, whose chipping yips seem to have returned for a couple of dreadful holes. With such an incredible ability to strike the ball as well as anyone on the PGA Tour, these latest issues are almost unfathomable. But there’s a long line of golfers who have struggled with it. Some have overcome it–some haven’t.

I wrote about it for Global Golf Post a month ago.

But the story of the day, as far as the Canadians go, was NHL referee Garrett Rank, playing alongside 21-year old Jared du Toit. Rank chipped in for eagle on the final hole to shoot 3-under, and du Toit shot 5-under to vault up the leaderboard:

Garrett Rank was told Wednesday he’ll be refereeing full-time in the NHL. On Thursday he shot 3-under in the RBC Canadian Open, his summer part-time job.

In his group was a 21-year-old from Kimberley, BC, Jared du Toit. The Canadian national golf team member had the day of his golfing life, holing out an eagle on the 17th hole and making birdie on the 18th to vault up the leaderboard.

“It’s the first time I’ve had to sign autographs,” du Toit, who plays at Arizona State University, said following his round. “That was awesome. Definitely a lot of fun.”

Rank, 28, from Elmira, Ont., chipped in for eagle on the final hole to close at 3-under. It wasn’t that long ago that Rank, who repeated as the Canadian Mid-Amateur champion to get into the Canadian Open, was breaking up on-ice fights. Now he’s battling for birdies.

“I told my brother last night that there’s just tees and there’s pins on this golf course, and it’s not any different than [playing] Elmira,” Rank explained. “Maybe there’s more people watching and the conditions were just a little tougher, but I’ll just keep telling myself that and just stay patient.”

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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