Tyler Merkel, a sophomore member of the Ball State men's golf team, is tied for 31st place after the first round of the NCAA Regional in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Merkel managed a two over par 73 in Thursday's first round. The NCAA Regional second round will continue Friday and Merkel is scheduled for a 9:50 tee time. The third and final round is slated for Saturday. The event is taking place at the University of Michigan Golf Course on the Wolverine's campus.
Merkel struggled through a 41 on the front nine, but tallied a 32 on the back side. A birdie on the 414-yard, par four, ninth hole began a stretch of three straight birdies for Merkel. He birdied the 13th hole to get to two over par and made pars on the final five holes for the final 73.
The NCAA Regional will advance the top five teams and the top individual not on one of the advancing teams to the NCAA Championships May 29-June 3 at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
There is a three-way tie of 67's atop the leaderboard after the first round.
Merkel is scheduled to play Friday's second round with Tim Shield of Navy and Greg Matthias of Delaware.