Joe Murdock shoots a 37 and finishes in fifth place at the last OK White Jamboree of the season


There’s no denying that junior Joe Murdock has had some memorable moments this season, and there is no doubt that he has cemented himself as a staple on the OK White golf scene. This isn’t to say he hasn’t had his fair share of—normal—growing pains this season. However, his resolve has painted over those struggles. 

“I have definitely grown as a player this season, through lots of ups and downs,” Joe said. “But that’s how golf works, everyone has good and bad days, and I am just trying to minimize any mistakes.”

On Monday, playing at the final OK White Jamboree of the year, Joe had a good day. He shot his second-lowest round of the year with a 37 and tied with East Grand Rapids’s Jack Seufert and Grand Rapids Christian’s Nicholas Sherman and Maxwell O’Grady for fifth place. Ahead of Joe, Colin Beckett from Northview chalked in one of the better OK White scores of the season, a 34. 

Just as Joe has developed himself on the fairways, so has freshman Nicholas Notarnicola. As a freshman, he has consistently recorded scores that rival Joe’s freshman year scores and has solidified himself as a top-three golfer on the team. Nicholas cracked the top twenty with a 41 on Monday, tying him up with Lowell’s Cameron Sluss and EGR’s Colin Krause for 17th place. Freshman Philip Murdock and senior Cam David, who played with a painful broken finger, finished their round’s in 21st place. In the end, FHC rounded out its last OK White Jamboree of the year in fifth place with a score of 166.

During the regular-season stretch this year, the top golfers for FHC have shown up to each event they have been able to compete at. Some golfers are juggling other outside obligations, which leads to absences similar to Joe’s last Wednesday at the Lansing Christian Invitational. The Rangers’ lack of depth has been exposed at these events as one of their most significant weaknesses. In two days, the boys in green will have to put whatever road bumps they faced in the regular season behind them to ensure they are entering the OK White Conference Tournament on a clean slate mindset. Head coach Paul TenEyck was adamant about his goals for this season; he clearly stated at the start of the season that the first goal on his team’s list was to win the conference. 

“The goals are the same every year,” coach TenEyck explained. “Win the conference, win regionals, and compete at states.”

With that first goal in mind, the boys are set to tee off at 8:30 AM on Thursday. Coach TenEyck sees regionals as “the most important tournament we have,” so if all goes according to plan on Thursday, the conference tournament featured at Thornapple Pointe Golf Club will be the boys’ last chance to enhance their golf game until Regionals on June 1. 

“We have talked about the importance of every event and building towards the end of the season,” coach TenEyck said. “Regionals are the most important event that we have; we have been striving to get better every day for regionals. We talked about it on a regular basis.”