Ball State's men's golf team moved finished in seventh place out of 15 teams at the Golfweek Conference Challenge at Spirit Hollow Golf Course in Burlington, Iowa.
The Cardinals shot a 295-291-297=883, and finished behind four teams ranked in the final 2010-11 top-25 poll. Ball State defeated Georgia Tech, which finished last season as the No. 3 team in the country.
Tyler Merkel tied for fourth with a 73-70-71=214, while Joe Gasser tied for 18th with a 70-73-77=220. TJ Carpenter managed a 77-72-74=223 to tie for 31st, while Tony Lazzara tallied a 75-76-75=226 to tie for 44th. Alex Stinson finished 72nd with an 84-76-81=241.
Joining the Cardinals at the event were Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, Iowa, California, Arkansas, North Texas, Tulsa, Southeast Louisiana, Tennessee-Chattanooga, New Mexico State, New Mexico, Kennesaw State, Xavier and UC-Irvine.
The field included a number of teams that were in the nation's top 25 a year ago. Oklahoma State ended the season ranked No. 1 in the country in the final Golfstat Poll and finished third in the tournament. Arkansas won the event after finishing 17th in the country last season. California placed fifth at the tournament after finishing last year ranked No. 18 in the nation and Iowa was sixth after ranking ninth in 2010-11's final poll.