Boys varsity golf finishes in eighth place at the annual Mona Shores Invitational behind a set of highly-ranked teams


The only tournament this season that has come close to rivaling the prime competition featured at the Next Tee Invite was the tournament hosted by the number-one ranked team in Divison 1, Mona Shores. Bringing together some of the finest high school golfers in Michigan, the annual Mona Shores Invitational at the Muskegon Country Club is constantly stacked with talent.

It’s not like the outstanding talent didn’t affect the Rangers’ overall eighth-place finish on Tuesday, but it also wasn’t a backbreaker for them. Instead, the more concerning and looming issue during the tournament was the unnecessary four-putt scenarios that ate away junior Joe Murdock’s chances at a better score than 82. 

“I think yesterday I got in my own head a little bit and didn’t perform the way I wanted to on the greens to fix the problem,” Joe admitted. “I’m looking to become more confident in myself and improve my confidence.”

Besides Joe, freshman Nicholas Notarnicola ended his day tied for 28th place with NorthPointe Christian’s Griffen VanErmen. Senior Cam David then rounded out the top-three list for FHC tied for 44th place with several other competitors. In Cam’s opinion, the boys have improved their consistency on the fairway but still need to work on strengthing their mental fortitude.

“We have improved on being consistent within our rounds and making smart decisions on all our shots,” Cam said. “We still need to work on having a short memory when it comes to bad shots.

Time and time again, the friendly rivalry between Joe and Jack Zubkus from Forest Hills Northern seems to go either way. For instance, at the OK White Jamboree at Railside Golf course, Joe snuck one past Jack with an even-par 36. Other times, though, Jack has sunk crucial putts to finish ahead of Joe. This time, Jack got the better of Joe and placed third behind his counterpart from Northern, Tyler Gillespie, and Spring Lake’s Evan McDermott. There will be plenty of other doors open for Joe this season to reclaim his bragging rights over Jack, especially at more significant events such as the OK White Conference meet on Thursday, May 27, and regionals on Tuesday, June 1. Since the start of this long season, head coach Paul TenEyck has prided himself on preparing his team for these two major events by posing this question to them all season: “Can you work on the little things to get better?” Once this is ingrained in his players’ brains, each practice round before every event is an essential piece to the puzzle. 

“Golf is not like other sports,” coach TenEyck said. “We change the way we practice as we near the finales of our season; we will have practice rounds at the regional golf course to get ready for that event.”