The Ball State men’s golf team has advanced to the NCAA Championship. After finishing the day tied with San Diego State for fifth place, the two teams went to a sudden death playoff, as the top five teams advance. 

Alex Stinson hit a one-foot putt for birdie to give Ball State a 19-20 edge in the playoff. Stinson had found himself in the par-five’s bunker on his third shot, and recovered to make the critical putt.

He finished the day tied for 16th on the individual leader board – the best individual finish on the Ball State team.

Tyler Merkel shot one-under for the tournament, and landed at 30th on the individual board.

After one round of play, the Cardinals were in tenth place as a team. They posted the third-best team score of 284 in round two, and moved up three spots by doing so. 

The team opened play on Saturday tied for seventh as a team, and fought their way up to fifth behind a three-over-par score of 291 in the final round.

Ball State will advance to NCAA Nationals for the first time since 1986. The Championship tournament is set to begin on May 28.