Ball State's men's golf team, under the direction of head coach Mike Fleck, will compete at the Mid-American Conference Championships Friday through Sunday at Rich Harvest Farms Golf Course in Sugar Grove, Ill.
The MAC Championships is a 72-hole tournament beginning Friday with tee times starting at 8:30 a.m. (CT). The first 36 holes will be played Friday, followed by 18 holes Saturday and the final 18 holes Sunday. Ball State's first tee time will be 8:40 a.m. Friday and the Cardinals will play in twosomes with Toledo.
Joining Ball State at the event are Akron, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Miami University, Northern Illinois, Ohio and Toledo.
Rich Harvest Farms was selected one of The Rolex World's Top 1000 Golf Courses and was a Golf Digest Top 100 Golf Course in 2011 and 2012.
Merkel, who was a co-recipient of the 2011 MAC Freshman of the Year award, leads the Cardinals with a 73.11 average. He has four top-10 finishes this season and is a three-time recipient of the MAC Golfer of the Week award in 2011-12. Merkel tied for first at the Northern Intercollegiate, which was played at Rich Harvest Farms in September.
TJ Carpenter, the lone senior on Ball State's lineup at the MAC, ranked second on the team with a 74.93 average. He has three top-20 and one top-10 finish this season, including a tie for first at the Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational.