MUNCIE, Ind. -- The Ball State men’s golf team will be playing in the NCAA Championships for the first time in 22 years.
The Cardinals earned an at-large berth into the 2013 field, as announced late Monday on the NCAA men’s golf selection show. Ball State is the No. 10 seed in the Pullman Regional, which will be played May 16-18 at Palouse Ridge Golf Club in Pullman, Wash.
A total of 81 teams will compete at six regional sites across the country for the opportunity to advance to the NCAA finals. The top five teams from each 54-hole regional will qualify for the finals, which will be played May 28-June 2 at Capital City Club in Atlanta, Ga.
Ball State’s regional features 14 teams, including five ranked among the nation’s top 25 by Golfstat: No. 1 California, No. 11 TCU, No. 12 Southern California, No. 24 Saint Mary’s (Calif.) and No. 25 Virginia Tech. Five individuals from teams not in the NCAA field will also be competing at the site.
“We are excited to be in the tournament and excited to go out West,” Ball State coach Mike Fleck said. “It is a tremendous opportunity, especially to have the No. 1 team in the country there with us. I am happy for our seniors who have put in four years of hard work, and I am happy for our program. We look forward to going out there and seeing what we can do.”
The Cardinals, which check in at No. 58 in the latest Golfstat national rankings, are coming off a third-place result at the Mid-American Conference Championship over the weekend. In nine team events this year, Ball State has two tournament wins -- the Firestone Invitational and the Pinehurst Intercollegiate -- and a pair of runner-up finishes.
The Cardinals will be making their 12th NCAA postseason appearance but their first since a 1991 regional berth. The team’s first 10 appearances came at the NCAA finals before the regional format was implemented.
Here is a complete look at the Pullman Regional field (seeds in parentheses):
Teams: (1) California, (2) TCU, (3) Southern California, (4) St. Mary’s (Calif.), (5) Virginia Tech, (6) BYU, (7) North Texas, (8) Baylor, (9) San Diego State, (10) Ball State, (11) Memphis, (12) Pacific, (13) Princeton and (14) Saint Francis (Pa.)
Individuals: (1) Ryan Williams, Sacramento State, (2) Tyler Raber, UC Davis, (3) Mason Casper, Utah Valley, (4) Taeksoo Kim, Boise State and (5) Jordan Weir, Sacramento State.
*Individuals come from teams not in the NCAA field. They are eligible, along with golfers from teams in the NCAA field, for an individual national championship.