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James Blackwell led the Cardinals with a 73 in the closing round.
Photo by: Jim Dostie
Menís Golf Moves Up on Final Day at Kepler

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Ball State men’s golf team moved up three spots Sunday at the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate to finish in 11th place on the final leaderboard.

James Blackwell led the Cardinals with a round of 2-over par 73 for the day, while McCormick Clouser shot 74. Tyler Merkel, Keegan McKinney and Tyler Ostrom each shot 76.

Ball State made a move early in the round by playing the front nine in even-par as a team. The back nine proved more challenging in high winds, but the Cardinals still managed their best round of the tournament with a 299 (+15).

Ball State finished with a three-round total of 905 (+53), jumping over Penn State, Cleveland State and Eastern Michigan on the final day at the Ohio State University Golf Club's Scarlet Course.

“I was pleased with the way we responded after a tough day yesterday,” Ball State head coach Mike Fleck said. “We played as well as any team in the field through the first half of the round before losing a little bit down the stretch. It was good to see us stay tough and catch a few teams today.”

Fifth-ranked Georgia Tech expanded its overnight lead to win the tournament by 18 shots with a 54-hole score of 858 (+6). UAB was second at 876, followed by Liberty in third at 877. The tournament featured six teams ranked among the top 50 by Golfstat.

Ollie Schniederjans of Georgia Tech and Frederik Hammer of Ohio State shared individual medalist honors at 3 under par. Schniederjans matched the low round of the tournament Sunday with a 67 despite the challenging conditions to join Hammer as the only players in red figures for the tournament.

McKinney led Ball State individually with a tie for 25th at 223 (+10) for the week. Merkel tied for 34th at 226, while Clouser finished at 228, Blackwell at 229 and Ostrom at 239.

Ball State now has one event remaining before the Mid-American Conference Championships, which will be played in Carmel, Ind., in early May. The Cardinals will host the annual Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational at Delaware Country Club, April 21-22.

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