BENTON TOWNSHIP — Western Amateur runner-up Daniel Wetterich is ready to chase the dream of being a professional golfer. Champion Garrett Rank is happy with his current job.

The two golfers will take different paths after Rank won their championship match 3 and 2 on Saturday at Point O’ Woods Golf & Country Club.

Wetterich recently wrapped up his senior season at Ohio State. He plans to compete in the U.S. Amateur later this month, and then attend PGA Tour Qualifying School as an amateur. He eventually plans to turn professional, although he hasn’t decided when that will be.

His performance at the Western Amateur, in which he finished runner-up for medalist honors as well as the championship, gives him confidence.

“In my opinion, the Western Amateur is the strongest field in amateur golf, because it’s all the top players all in one spot,” Wetterich said. “Finishing second in stroke play and then finishing runner-up to Garrett, that just shows that I have the game to make it to the next level and I’m really excited about that.”

For Rank, a 31-year-old National Hockey League referee, golf will remain a summer hobby. He has plans to play a few more amateur tournaments before reporting for NHL training camp on Sept. 9.

“I have no regrets about not being professional,” Rank said. “I have no doubt I could be a great pro and could do well in the game of golf. But I love my job. I have one of the coolest jobs in the world. I know how the ups and downs of golf work and have seen a lot of great players not make it.

“When you get to play in tournaments like this and have success, I don’t know why you would want to chase being a professional golfer.”

Wetterich knows the path he’s going down isn’t easy. He comes from a golfing family – both his older brothers, David and Matt, played in college.

David has turned professional and spent time on the PGA Tour Canada, and Daniel has learned from his experience. He knows the pros and cons of the variety of tours available, and is hoping to play on the PGA Tour Canada or the Korn Ferry Tour as he works his way towards the PGA Tour.

“I know I still have a little more work to dial some things in and be a little more consistent, but I don’t think I’m really far off,” Wetterich said. “As soon as I get it clicking like this, like I did this week, I feel like I can do some really special stuff.”

Contact:, 429-1294, @HPBenSanders