Ball State took the course for its first action of the season this past weekend in Bloomington, Indiana. The Cardinals tied 7th out of 15 teams, with a final score of 888 (+18) at the Hoosier Collegiate Invitational.
“First and foremost, it was just exciting and fun to be able to get back out and start a fall season,” head coach Mike Fleck said. “With the young group, they hung in there. We had some bright spots, we had times where we weren't as sharp as we could have been. All in all, they stayed patient, played pretty solid, and had a decent finish.”
Senior Joey Ranieri shot 212, which was good for a share of fifth place. He finished -1 under par, and shot -3 on par 5s. After finishing sixth at the Mid-American Conference Championships last year, Fleck is excited to see Ranieri take the next step.
“I think his expectations are pretty high,” Fleck said. “He’s been here for a few years now and had some success. He played well last year. I think in the offseason, he really committed to improving his putting, and this week he was really solid on the green. He’s comfortable at this golf course and played really well.”
Junior Evan Bone placed 17th out of 84 participants. His best performance came in the first round, where he shot 71. He finished +5 on par 4s with a 4.15 average.
Redshirt freshman Ali Khan finished tied for eight in the field for pars (34). His best score came on par 5s (-1). Ranieri and Bone were directly behind him with 33 pars each.
Junior Joey Wiseman (+23) and redshirt freshman Griffin Hare (+17) rounded out the Cardinals five-man lineup. Redshirt freshman Carson Orr, who competed as an individual, finished +29.
After the departure of three seniors, Fleck is excited to see how his younger group evolves their skill throughout the fall season.
“At times, we drove the ball really well and did a good job of getting it into play,” Fleck said. “We probably need to work a little bit on the greens and regulation, just kind of cleaning up some things. I think we have situations where we could have maybe thought through some things a little bit better, but as we get more experienced, those things will hash themselves out. We're just trying to tighten things up in general and get a little bit better every day.”
The Cardinals finished with the most eagles in the field (two), with Bone and Hare each converting one. Ball State shot a 3.10 average (-6) on par 3s, which ranked fourth among all teams.
Illinois and Cincinnati tied for first place with an even score of 858 (+6).
The Cardinals return to the course Sept. 17-18 as they host the Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational. The match time is TBA.
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