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Tyler Merkel placed fourth at 3-over for the tournament.
Photo by: TJ Carpenter
Cardinals Place Third at Menís Golf MAC Championship
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NASHPORT, Ohio -- The Ball State men's golf team posted a team score of 301 Sunday at the Mid-American Conference Championship to close the final round where it started, in third place.

Tyler Merkel finished alone in fourth to lead Ball State individually at the par-72 Longaberger Golf Club.

The Cardinals will now await word on a potential NCAA Regional berth. Ball State entered the weekend at No. 58 in the Golfstat rankings. A total of 81 teams will earn postseason spots during the NCAA selection show, which will be streamed live Monday at 9 p.m. on ncaa.com.

Ball State was jockeying with Toledo for second place throughout much of Sunday's round until a tough closing stretch. The Cardinals, which trailed Toledo by three strokes entering the day, finished with a four-round total of 1,200 (+48). The Rockets maintained their second-place position at 1,189 (+37).

Kent State led wire-to-wire to win its fifth straight MAC Championship. The Golden Flashes finished at 1,168 (+16) for the tournament and also featured the individual medalist in Taylor Pendrith.

Pendrith closed with a round of 73 to win by eight strokes at 7-under par for the tournament. He was the only player to finish in red figures.

Merkel earned a spot on the all-tournament team after posting a 74 in Sunday's final round to finish at 3-over 291. It was the second MAC Championship top-10 result for Merkel, who tied for seventh at the 2011 event as a freshman.

Ball State's Alex Stinson and Tony Lazzara each carded rounds of 75 Sunday. Stinson tied for 11th place at 13-over 301 for the weekend. Lazzara, who had his round as low as 3-under Sunday after an eagle at the 10th hole, tied for 14th at 15-over 303.

Joe Gasser and Brodie Williams each closed with rounds of 77. Gasser tied for 24th at 308, while Williams tied for 35th at 316.

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