Boys varsity golf fails to put all of the pieces together at an OK White Jamboree despite new golfers stepping up

Boys varsity golf fails to put all of the pieces together at an OK White Jamboree despite new golfers stepping up

After tasting a drop of defeat at the Next Tee Invite on Monday against a large field of elite golfers, the boys varsity golf team was primed to travel back to its backyard to play in a nine-hole OK White Jamboree hosted by Grand Rapids Christian at Quail Ridge Golf Club the following Tuesday. For newcomers on the team, such as senior Jeremy James, it felt like FHC bounced from Oakland Hills to Quail Ridge pretty quick.

“It was kind of crazy playing in my first actual tournament ever. This is my first year playing, and I’ve played in a couple of exhibition-like tournaments, but this was the real deal,” Jeremy said. “Overall, it was difficult to turn around and go play another tournament right after a big one like Next Tee, but being able just to go out and play golf alongside this team was a great experience.”

Jeremy, who notched a spot on FHC’s leaderboard for the first time yesterday, shot a personal season-high of 48. Placing ahead of Jermey on the team leaderboard, senior Cam David and freshman Nicholas Notarnicola also punched in some quality nine-hole scores for FHC. Cam shot a 46 on the day, while Nicholas chipped his way towards a 43. Together, FHC finished in last place behind Grand Rapids Christian, Lowell, Forest Hills Northern, and Northview. 

Because he couldn’t fall back on varsity golf experience during his debut, Jeremy’s performance was sort of a surprise. However, the biggest surprise came during the first five holes. Almost nothing this year has been set in stone, but junior Joe Murdock’s exceptional play is almost always an everyday occurrence at tournaments. On Tuesday, Joe started off five-over-par through the first five holes and struggled to find the swing that has brought him so much success this season. Luckily for Joe, he made up ground and went on an absolute tear on the last four holes, shooting one-under-par to give him a final score of 40. 

“I got off to a slow start after I encountered a couple of bad breaks on my first and third holes, and I let them affect my play on my next couple of holes,” Joe said. “It took me a hole to regroup and get my focus back; I just told myself that I needed to relax, have a good attitude, and just do my best to enjoy the round of golf. After that, I was able to finish my round strong and finish in sixth place.”

Joe’s rebound is a perfect example of what strong mental preparation can do for a golfer in a dry spell. From the start of the season to now, head coach Paul TenEyck has been extremely proud of Joe and other players’ resilience on every course. 

“It’s been a weird season and difficult year,” coach TenEyck said, “so I’m proud of how hard my kids have fought on the course.”

Although FHC fell to fellow OK White foes yesterday, the Rangers’ have another chance to redeem themselves on Tuesday, May 4, at their home course, Watermark Country Club.