The brotherly tandem of Philip and Joe Murdock carries the load for boys varsity golf at the Next Tee Invite

The brotherly tandem of Philip and Joe Murdock carries the load for boys varsity golf at the Next Tee Invite

According to its website, Oakland Hills Country Club was founded in 1916 “and will continue to play a significant role in the history of golf in the United States.” For freshman Philip Murdock, it was a chance to play on the same punishing greens that all-time greats such as Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus played on.

“Since it’s so early in the season, the greens were aerated and sanded, which made them pretty hard,” Philip said. “It was fun to play such a prestigious course, though.”

Philip and his brother, junior Joe Murdock, ignited their brotherly bond to represent FHC in a field of 122 other golfers from all over Michigan at the Next Tee Invite. Considering that Philip and Joe competed against top-end talent at a golf course dubbed by 1950 U.S. Open golfers as “The Monster,” their respective scores and placements are noteworthy. Philip finished the day comfortably in 80th place, while Joe closed out the day in a stalemate with other golfers for the number 30 position. Swinging his way towards a 78, Joe once again proved he could tee-off with the finest high school golfers in Michigan. Although Joe and his teammates focus on their execution on the fairway and greens, they also have the wherewithal to appreciate the unique features of prominent golf courses. Head coach Paul TenEyck pointed out that sometimes a golf course such as Oakland Hills is worth the experiencewin or lose. 

“It is an absolute treat to play a course like Oakland Hills,” coach TenEyck said. “It’s definitely one of the highlights on our schedule every year.”

Philip and Joe’s performances highlighted a strong day for FHC individually. However, collectively, the boys had a tough time matching the big guns from the Eastern part of the state, leaving them to try to claw their way back up the totem pole. When every score was validated, the Rangers found themselves in a disappointing spot on the team leaderboard: 18th place out of 23 teams. 

In a quick turnaround, the Rangers have to travel 115 miles back from Oakland Hills Country Club to stack themselves up against a loaded group of OK White teams at Quail Ridge Golf Club on Tuesday, April 27. Coach TenEyck expects his team to respond well to this so-called quick turnaround.

“We played pretty well at the Next Tee Invite, but again, we still need to play more consistently,” coach TenEyck said. “I don’t see this as too big of a turnaround for us because we just got off a whole week of rest.”