Ball State men’s golfer Tyler Merkel is hesitant to look forward to next season.

He finished in a tie for 15th in the 60th Sunnehanna Amateur Tournament for Champions last Sunday. One of the most prestigious amateur tournaments in the country, this year’s event featured a record 83 players. 

Despite the successful showing, Merkel is trying to keep his focus on the off-season. 

“It was really important to get a good start to the summer,” Merkel said. “It’s a really good start to build on. I’m trying really hard to take it one step at a time and not really get ahead of myself.” 

He has the summer to work on mechanics within his game that will help the Ball State team improve. 

The short game – putting and chipping – are a big focus for the rising senior. But his game may not be the only one that can make a difference next year. 


“I hate to tell you that I’m not looking forward to next year because I am a little bit, I really love it,” Merkel said. “We have a fun time, and you’re always excited when you get to add some new pieces, and I think this could be a really successful year for us.”

The team will add three freshman golfers next year, all of which were named all-state by the Indiana High School Golf Coaches Association. 

“That’s definitely something that doesn’t happen all the time, to bring three all-state golfers,” Merkel said. “I think this is going to be a strong class that can really help us out.” 

After making an appearance in NCAA Nationals last season, Merkel said the Ball State men’s golf program has a lot to be excited about.

“It’s going to be the best schedule our team has possibly ever had,” Merkel said. “So with that, there are a lot of opportunities that we haven’t had before. Whether it be competing with some really good teams, or just the opportunity to have more national ranking, or as our coach says, to help us ‘stay relevant.’”