MCKINNEY, Texas -- The Ball State men’s golf team finished in sixth place at the Jim West Intercollegiate after posting a final-round score of 304 on Tuesday.
The Cardinals wrapped up the tournament with a 54-hole total of 898 (294-300-304). Vanderbilt, the nation’s No. 36-ranked team, won with a score of 885 on the par-72, 7,417-yard layout at TPC Craig Ranch.
Ball State found itself in second place Tuesday with each golfer having three holes to play, but a tough finish on a tight leaderboard dropped the Cardinals to sixth. Teams two through six in the final standings were separated by just six strokes.
Oral Roberts grabbed second place at 892, followed closely by UALR in third at 893. Texas State at 894 and Stephen F. Austin at 897 also finished slightly ahead of Ball State in the 11-team field.
Tyler Merkel turned in the Cardinals’ best round on the final 18 holes with a 1-over par 73. He was the team’s top finisher in the tournament with a sixth-place result at 4-over 220 (72-75-73).
Merkel finished four shots back of tournament medalist Bryce Emory of Northern Illinois. Emory tied for the lead through 54 holes but defeated TCU’s Sarosh Adi in a playoff.
Ball State’s Joe Gasser closed with a 3-over round of 75, the second-best of the day by a Ball State golfer. Gasser finished in a tie for 19th at 9-over 225 (72-78-75) for the tournament.
Alex Stinson tied for 21st on the final leaderboard at 10-over 226 (74-75-77). Stinson had a strong final round going at even-par through 12 holes Tuesday before a tough finish left him with a 77 for the day.
This week’s event was the last full-team tournament on the schedule for Ball State before the Mid-American Conference Championships early next month.
The Cardinals will send individuals to compete April 18-19 at the Butler Spring Invitational at Prestwick Country Club in Avon, Ind.