MCKINNEY, Texas -- The Ball State men’s golf team finds itself in contention on a tight leaderboard following Monday’s opening 36 holes at the Jim West Intercollegiate.
The Cardinals are three strokes off the lead at 18-over par 594 (294-300) heading into Tuesday’s final round at TPC Craig Ranch. Temperatures were in the 70s Monday with winds blowing from 25-35 miles per hour and making for a challenging finish down the stretch.
UALR tops the 11-team field at 15-over 591, while five other teams are within seven strokes of the lead. Vanderbilt, the nation’s No. 36 team, sits in second place, one stroke ahead of Ball State, which is ranked No. 46 by Golfweek and No. 53 by Golfstat.
Tyler Merkel leads the Cardinals individually in a tie for fifth place. Merkel, who carded an even-par opening round, finished day one at 3-over 147 (72-75). The junior from Evansville, Ind., is four strokes behind Bryce Emory of Northern Illinois, who leads the way at 1-under par.
Merkel is one of three Cardinals among the top 20 individually. Alex Stinson is tied for 12th at 5-over 149 (74-75), while Joe Gasser is tied for 19th at 6-over 150 (72-78). Stinson and Gasser each recorded eagles to bolster their first rounds.
McCormick Clouser bounced back from a tough opening 18 holes to post Ball State’s best score in the second round. He sits in a tie for 35th place at 9-over 153 (81-72). Brodie Williams is tied for 57th at 159 (76-83) to round out the Cardinals’ lineup.The final round on the par-72, 7,417-yard layout is scheduled to begin Tuesday with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. CT (10 a.m. ET). Live scoring is available at golfstat.com.