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Tyler Merkel is tied for 10th place individually.
Photo by: Katie Hawkins
Menís Golfers Hold Steady on Day Two of NIU Tourney

SUGAR GROVE, Ill. -- The Ball State men’s golf team hung tough through difficult scoring conditions Saturday in round two of the Northern Intercollegiate.

The Cardinals ended the day right where they started it, in sixth place on the 15-team leaderboard, after a second-round score of 302. Ball State owns a 19-over par total of 595 with one round to play.

With the scores climbing higher, Houston maintained its lead and finished the round as the only team better than par at 4-under for the tournament. Liberty at 1-over and Virginia at 4-over are second and third in the team race.

Tyler Merkel carded Ball State's steadiest round with a 1-over par 73. The senior is even for the tournament and tied for 10th place, six strokes behind individual leader Roman Robledo of Houston.

McCormick Clouser turned in the second-best score of the day for the Cardinals with a 75. He is tied for 27th for the tournament at 5-over par, joining Merkel and James Blackwell as Ball State players in the top 30 among the 88 players.

Blackwell, who is tied for 24th at 4-over, was one of three Cardinals to shoot 77 on Saturday. Freshmen Jon Schram and Keegan McKinney also posted 77’s. Schram made the turn at 1-under to move up the leaderboard but fell back with a 42 on the back nine.

Ball State’s Tyler Ostrom, who is playing as an individual this week, carded an 81 on Saturday.

The third and final round of the Northern Intercollegiate is set for Sunday with tee times starting at 8 a.m. CT (9 a.m. ET). Live scoring is available at

The strong field at the par-72, 7,236-yard Rich Harvest Farms includes 13 teams that competed in NCAA Regionals last season and three teams, including Ball State, that advanced to NCAA Nationals.

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