June athlete of the month
Colton Murphy – Boys Golf
Parents: Dave and Jody Murphy
Colton Murphy played superb golf with a tournament average of 77 in May, which placed him in the top five golfers in the WDA over that time period, with all those above him being seniors.
In the west regional tournament in June, with Mandan losing its second and fourth best golfers, the chances for the team to qualify for state were slim to none. Murphy knew if the team had any chance at all, he would have to shoot the round of his life.
With two holes to go, Murphy was told he was one stroke off the pace. So he made a 20-foot putt on hole 17 and followed it by giving himself about an 8-foot birdie putt on hole 18. His putt caught the edge and rimmed out, leaving him with a score of 72, one shot out of the tournament title.
Braves Boys Golf Head Coach Dean Johs said, “As it came down to the end, we also found out that the team missed qualifying for state by just one shot as well. One shot short for a team that had almost no chance… all because of Colton’s leadership and guts. He really carried our team that day, as he did all season.”
For his efforts, Murphy received All Conference Tournament Team honors. He also earned All WDA Honors for his overall season average, placing sixth in the WDA. And he individually qualified himself for state three different times.
Johs said of Murphy, “Colton has tirelessly worked on his game 12 months of the year and is continually trying to get more and more of his teammates to join him as they practice their game to improve our team. Colton is looked up to by all the other golfers in the conference not only as a leading competitor, but as someone who does things right, with character and positive leadership.
“By him taking on this roll, Mandan golf’s image is starting to change in our conference as a program that is on the rise and can start to compete with the larger programs,” Coach Johs said.
In addition to golf, Murphy is also active in hockey in the winter. He works as a hockey referee and participates in the Dakota Junior Golf Association.
When Murphy graduates, he says he would like to move down south to play golf at the college level, and has plans to go on the Web.com Tour and hopefully compete on other levels of the sport thereafter.