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Tyler Merkel at NCAA Golf Regional - 11:20 Tee Time
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Tyler Merkel, a sophomore member of the Ball State men's golf team, is competind at the NCAA Regional in Ann Arbor, Mich., Thursday through Saturday.

Thursday's first round is under a frost delay and Merkel is now scheduled to tee off at 11:20 a.m.

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The NCAA Regional will be played at the University of Michigan Golf Course and is one of six 54-hole regional tournaments.  The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each regional will advance to the finals.  The finals will be May 29-June 3 at The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.

The first round of the NCAA Regional at Michigan is set for Thursday, while the second round is set for Friday and the final 18 holes will be Saturday.  The course will play to 6,723 yards and to a par 71.

Merkel, a 2012 All-Mid-American Conference First Team selection, is the second individual to compete at the NCAA Regional for the Cardinals in the last two years.  He follows Eric Steger, who competed at the Regional as a senior for Ball State in 2011. 

Merkel, who was a co-recipient of the 2011 MAC Freshman of the Year award, led the Cardinals with a 73.47 average in 2011-12. He has managed four top-10 finishes and was named the MAC Player of the Week three times this season. Merkel tied for first at the Northern Intercollegiate, marking the second time in his career he has won a tournament. He tied for second at the Golfweek Pinehurst Intercollegiate, tied for fourth at the Golfweek Conference Challenge, tied for seventh at the Ball State Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational and posted a 3-0-0 record at the Mid-American Match Play this spring.

He tied his career low with a 68 at the Northern Intercollegiate where he also tallied a season low 54-hole score of 212. Merkel managed four rounds in the 60s this season.

The Cardinals won the Mid-American Match Play at Lake Jovita Golf Course in Dade City, Fla., plus had nine additional top-10 tournament finishes in 2011-12. Ball State, under the direction of 14th-year head coach Mike Fleck , ended its season with a fourth place showing at the weather shortened MAC Championships at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.

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