McCormick Clouser participates during the Fighting Irish Classic on Sept. 30 at Notre Dame. PHOTO PROVIDED OF JOE RAYMOND
Men's golf alumni take next step
Three Ball State golf alumni are one step closer to playing at golf’s highest level. Brian Maurer (2009), Eric Steger (2011) and McCormick Clouser (2015) qualified for the Professional Golf Association Tour Latinoamérica.
Steger and Clouser earned their spots through a qualifier at Club los Lagartos in Bogota, Colombia. Steger earned exempt status through the first half of the season by way of his T-4th place finish and Clouser has earned conditional status by finishing in 15th place.
Maurer competed in a qualifier hosted at Estrella del Mar Golf & Beach Resort in Mazatlan, Mexico and also earned exempt status through the first half of the season by means of a 7th place finish. Maurer is a former team captain and MVP for the men’s team at Ball State.
In his senior year as a Cardinal, Maurer was First-Team All-Mid-American Conference. Since his graduation in 2009, he won the 2011 Indiana Open and held status on the Web.com Tour in 2015.
Steger came to Ball State from Noblesville and went on to have a successful collegiate career. During his time as a Cardinal, he earned All-Conference Status twice and was a PING Division I All-Midwest Region during his senior season.
During his final season, he won the Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational and was also a team captain. His individual playing during summers earned him IGA John K. David Player of the Year Honors in 2009 and 2010, winning the Indiana State Amateur in 2010. He also competed in the 2009 U.S. Amateur, the most prestigious golf tournament for Amateurs.
He is familiar with the PGA Tour Latinoamérica as he played in some events last year as he makes a return this season.
Clouser, the most recent graduate, transferred to Ball State from Michigan State before his sophomore year and found instant success.
In his senior year, he was Second Team All-Mid-American Conference and was also voted as the Earl Yestingsmeier Sportsman of the year by the members of the conference. He was given Conference Player of the Week honors four times that season and MAC Scholar Athlete of the Week once.
The PGA tour Latinoamérica is considered a “third-tier” professional golf tour as it feeds directly into the Web.com Tour, which is directly below the PGA Tour. The top five finishers on the PGA Tour Latinoamérica gain status on the Web.com tour, and the numbers 6-50 regain their status on PGA Tour Latinoamérica for the next year.
The tour was formed in 2012 as part of an effort by the PGA Tour to help the status of these “mini-tours”, and to help give these golfers a better chance to continue on in their golf careers.
This year's tour will take place between Feb. 25-28 in Medellin, Colombia.