BURLINGTON, Iowa -- The Ball State men's golf team kept itself in the mix Monday at the Golfweek Conference Challenge with a score of 4-over par 292 on day two of the tournament.
The Cardinals will enter the final round in fourth place through 36 holes at 5-over (581). Two teams are under par with Missouri leading the field at 4-under and Wake Forest at 1-under. Tulsa is third at 4-over in the 15-team field.
The tournament will conclude Tuesday at the 7,360-yard, par-72 Spirit Hollow Golf Course. The final 18 holes will begin with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. CT (9:30 ET).
Ball State junior Tyler Merkel, who carded an even-par first round Sunday, led the Cardinals in round two with a 70 to climb into a tie for sixth place at 2-under (142) for the tournament. Missouri's Jace Long leads the individual race at 7-under after a second-round 69.
Merkel opened his round Monday with a double bogey but bounced back to birdie his next three holes. He finished with five birdies on the day and climbed as high as the top 5 on the leaderboard before a late bogey.
Senior Alex Stinson, Ball State's leader on day one with a 69, posted a round of 75 on Monday. He is even-par (144) for the tournament and tied for 11th place entering the final day.
Fellow seniors Joe Gasser and Brodie Williams are also in the top 25 out of 75 golfers. Gasser is tied for 21st place at 3-over 147 (73-74), while Williams is tied for 25th at 4-over 148 (75-73). Freshman James Blackwell sits at 9-over (75-78) for the tournament.
The Golfweek Conference Challenge is a unique tournament that features 15 teams from 15 different conferences. In addition to Ball State (MAC), the field includes Campbell (Big South), Central Arkansas (Southland), Florida Gulf Coast (Atlantic Sun), Iowa (Big Ten), Jacksonville State (Ohio Valley), Kansas (Big 12), Long Beach State (Big West), Missouri (SEC), San Francisco (West Coast), San Jose State (WAC), Tulsa (Conference USA), Wake Forest (ACC) and Xavier (Atlantic 10).