MUNCIE, Ind. -- It’s another week and another stern test for the Ball State men’s golf team, which is set for its second fall tournament.
The Cardinals head to Burlington, Iowa, to take part in the three-day Golfweek Conference Challenge for the second year in a row. The action gets underway Sunday with tee times starting at 9 a.m. CT (10 a.m. ET). Live scoring is available at golfstat.com.
Among the field at Spirit Hollow Golf Course are 12 teams that finished last season ranked among the top 100 in the country, nine that competed in NCAA Regionals and four -- Ball State, LSU, New Mexico and Oklahoma -- that advanced to NCAA Nationals.
But the tough competition is nothing new for Ball State, which saw 10 Regional teams in a 15-team field last week at the Northern Intercollegiate at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.
Junior McCormick Clouser led the Cardinals to a sixth-place finish in the season-opening event with a tie for 15th on the individual leaderboard. Senior Tyler Merkel placed 19th, while sophomore James Blackwell finished in a tie for 33rd.
That trio will be joined in the Ball State lineup by freshmen Keegan McKinney and Quentyn Carpenter. McKinney acquitted himself well last week in his first tournament for the Cardinals, posting the team’s second-best score in the final round. Carpenter will be seeing his first collegiate action this week.
The Golfweek Conference Challenge pits 15 teams from 15 different conferences on the par-72, 7,301-yard layout at Spirit Hollow. Ball State placed fifth as a team at least year’s event, while Merkel tied for fourth individually.
In addition to the four teams that made last year’s Nationals, the remainder of the field includes Arizona, Central Arkansas, Chattanooga, Florida Gulf Coast, Houston, Iowa, Jacksonville State, Louisiana Tech, Texas State, Virginia Tech and Winthrop.After Sunday’s opening round, the tournament continues Monday with the second round and concludes Tuesday with the final 18 holes.