Joe Murdock earns first-place honors at the Meadows Golf Course

Joe Murdock earns first-place honors at the Meadows Golf Course

While most eyes were focused on Byron Center’s Jack Marzolino at Watermark on Monday, FHC quietly shot its most complete round as a team, in part because of a string of pars from senior Joe Murdock on holes four through six.

“Joe shot a solid round,” head coach Paul TenEyck said. “He gave us a nice boost and played the greens well.”

Playing a few holes behind Joe, the sophomore tandem of Brett Comiskey and Nicholas Notarnicola picked up where Joe left off, rallying FHC to a third-place finish after a hot start on the first three holes. This hot start, which included three pars in a row and resulted in a fifth-place finish for both golfers, provided a cushion for the Rangers heading into the last few holes. In the end, Monday was FHC’s most complete round of golf as a team. And the combined effort paid off, as FHC finished third overall.

“We have made some improvements in our last couple of events; I believe a good deal of improvement can be attributed to us finally getting a chance to play and practice,” coach TenEyck said.

Building off of their success on Monday at Watermark, the boys returned to the links on Friday to compete in the Ranger Invitational held at The Meadows Golf Course at Grand Valley University. Last season, this tournament created some interesting storylines, specifically that of Jonah Spates, the first-year senior who shot his best round of golf on the year and outshined his fellow teammate, Joe Murdock. This season, Joe has been on a mission from the get-go to learn from his poor performances from last season and build upon them. The Ranger Invitational was just another one of those chances.

“I’ve kept those bad performances stored in the back of my mind,” Joe said. “A lot of my struggles last season came from unnecessary mental mistakes or missed putts, so I’m just focusing on trying to develop myself off of those mistakes.”

Using those poor performances to his motivational advantage, Joe erupted for a news-worthy 71 on 18 holes. His superhuman effort resulted in a first-place finish amongst 84 other golfers, and when all was said and done, Joe’s victory, along with sophomore Philip Murdock’s 19th-place finish, propelled FHC to an impressive fourth-place finish ahead of big-time golf schools like Forest Hills Northern and Rochester Adams.

Following a hectic week of golf, FHC’s schedule heats up even more with the Traverse City Tee Off at Crystal Mountain over the weekend. A two-day event, the tournament is another shot for Joe and others to put their names out on a state level.