The financial burden that David McMurry would have faced would have been steep had it not been for a $6,000 scholarship that the 2010 Ardmore High School graduate was awarded from The MORE Scholarship that year.

“It would have been a lot harder for me to stay in school for five years without a scholarship,” he said. “I graduated with minimal student debt because of it.”

So, when McMurry’s good friend Todd Myers informed him about who the tournament benefited, he was more than happy to join the team.

“I was definitely more than willing to play,” said McMurry, who graduated from East Central University in 2015.

They were one of 40 teams who braved the humidity and occasional rain shower at Dornick Hills Golf and Country Club on Monday to raise money for The MORE Foundation Scholarship Fund.

The foundation has awarded about $8 million in scholarships since its inception in 1990.

Tiips Agency No. 2 of Scotty Baxter, Lyndsi Cain-Baxter, Jace Weaver and Bryan Newsom captured first place. 

A raffle was held after the conclusion of the tournament. 

A wide range of items, including a football that was signed by University of Oklahoma head football coach Bob Stoops, were bid.

The amount of money that has been raised through tournament entry fees and hole sponsorships is still being tallied.

But, Roslyn Haile, executive director of The MORE Foundation, anticipates that amount will double from the total from a year ago.

A high turnout created the necessity of two tee times — a first for Haile in her seven years serving in that role with the foundation.

“It was like Christmas,” Haile said. “It has been an overwhelming response. I put this message on Facebook and placed the recipients of this year’s winners in the paper. Before the end of May, we found out that it was going to be a little bigger tournament than in past years.”

Haile credits the re-branding of the tournament name in 2014 and the change in criteria to be awarded a scholarship. 

Of the 170 applicants for this year’s scholarship, 107 were recipients. 

Scholarships are awarded to students who attend Ardmore, Dickson, Fox, Healdton, Lone Grove, Plainview, Springer and Wilson high schools, in addition to Take 2 Academy. 

Donations haven’t come in solely from Carter County. Some golfers drover from Oklahoma City. TM Co Inc., based in Houston, entered five teams.

“They took flights up here,” Haile said.

Jennifer Munholland, a 2001 graduate of Healdton High School, is forever grateful of the scholarship that she was awarded that same year.

“It’s a huge blessing to be able to go into college and have that little bit of extra money and be able to come out with no student loans is a huge help,” she said. “I hope it’s around long enough for one of my kids. That would be awesome.”

David Brady teed off Monday for a tournament that has awarded scholarships to three of his children Blake, Natalie and Taylor — all of whom graduated from Healdton.

“It’s a great opportunity for them and scholarship program,” David said. “Its a good deal for the kids. We enjoy coming out here and helping them.”

As college tuition continues to rise, Mark Wilson says the scholarship that was awarded to his daughter and recent Ardmore graduate Reghan will ease the financial pressure. Reghan will begin her pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Oklahoma State University this fall.

“I can’t imagine trying to send a kid out of state,” Mark said. “But even the in-state schools, the prices even back to when I went to school, it’s just the amazing the significant increase. My salary sure hasn’t increased. This makes a significant difference to everyone that has gotten it.”