The Ball State men’s golf team has competed in 12 events this year, compiling impressive results and climbing as high as No. 27 in the country in Golfweek’s polls. But the culmination of its season comes down to 18 holes Saturday at the Palouse Ridge Golf Club.

The Cardinals enter the final round of their NCAA Regional in a tie for seventh place. Through the first 36 holes Ball State is 11-under par, just two strokes behind Pacific and San Diego State for fifth place – the last spot to advance.

Ball State, Pacific, San Diego State, Virginia Tech and Texas Christian University (TCU) have jockeyed the fourth through eighth spots, and are all within four strokes of each other.

Unanimous No. 1 California continues to pace the field, and is a staggering 35-under-par, and holds an 11-stroke lead over second place Southern California (USC).

Sam Smith of USC is atop the individual leader board at 18-under.

First Team All-Mid-American Conference junior Tyler Merkel has stayed true to his regular season as he shot consistently both days, and is four-under.

Sophomore McCormick Clouser carded a career-low of 68, and went 4-under in the first round, and then shot even in the second. Clouser was given the start over senior Brodie Williams, who had competed in the MAC Championship, because of his longer drives.

Second Team All-MAC senior Alex Stinson was 2-up in the first round, but rebounded and went 3-under on day two.

Fellow Second Team senior Joe Gasser is 1-over, and senior Tony Lazzara is 2-over.