Rank, Castillo rep very different age brackets in Western semis
Garrett Rank (Golf Canada photo)
With another double-round day down at Point O’Woods Golf Club in Benton Harbor, Mich., the semifinals are set at the Western Amateur. The four men still standing represent very different areas of the game.
After two rounds of match play, David Laskin
, Garrett Rank
, Ricky Castillo
and Daniel Wetterich
remain. There is a 13-year age gap between Rank and Castillo. Rank, the 31-year-old mid-amateur, is on the bracket for the first time in five tries at this event. Castillo is just an up-and-comer, having just graduated in the spring. He will enroll at Florida in the fall, and should he win, would become the sixth Gator to win the Western title.
“It’s a lot of fun when two opponents are playing well, and you know you have to hit a good shot or make a putt,” Castillo told the Western Golf Association. “It was tough, but it was great. We went back and forth the entire day.”
Those two could only meet in the final, considering they are on different sides of the bracket.
All four semifinalists made the Sweet 16 for the first time.
“This is pretty surreal,” said Rank, whose full-time job is as an NHL referee. “I’m super thrilled to go this far. I know I have it in me to compete against these guys, and I’m just riding the wave of momentum right now.”
Rank must play Arizona senior David Laskin in Saturday morning’s semifinals. Laskin got through two tough matches on Friday, first defeating Pacific Coast Amateur champion Quade Cummins then taking down stroke-play medalist Davis Thompson. He won both matches on the 17th hole.
“I knew I would have my work cut out for me,” Laskin said.
For his part, Rank defeated UCLA player Hidetoshi Yoshihara, 2 up, in the first round, then followed up with a 2-and-1 defeat of Clemson’s Turk Pettit.
Castillo will play Daniel Wetterich, an Ohio State graduate who has hung around leaderboards all summer but now has a chance to contend for arguably the biggest title of his life. Wetterich defeated Alabama’s Frankie Capan and Northwestern’s Everton Hawkins on Friday.
Quotes and information from the Western Golf Association used in this report
ABOUT THE Western Amateur
Invitational event, and the most important
tournament in American amateur golf outside of the
U.S. Amateur. With a grueling schedule, it's quite
hardest amateur tournament to win.
156 invited players come from across the
globe to play one of the toughest formats in
amateur golf. The tournament starts with 18
holes of stroke play on Tuesday and
Wednesday after which the field is cut to the
low 44 scores and ties. Thursday it's a long
day of 36 holes of stroke play to determine
the “Sweet Sixteen” who compete at Match
Play on Friday and Saturday (two matches
each day if you're going to the finals) to
decide the champion.
View Complete Tournament Information