Freshman Johnny Watts became the third Ball State golfer in history to win the individual championship for the Mid-American Conference Tournament. Watts is also the first Ball State freshman to win it. PHOTO PROVIDED BY BALL STATE ATHLETICS
Ball State men's golf enters postseason play after 1st place finish
Coming off of its best finish all year at the Earl Yestingsmeier Memorial Invitational, Ball State men's golf is gearing up for the postseason.
The Cardinals played well leading into their home invitational. In the three tournaments leading into it, the team placed fifth, tied for seventh and tied for sixth.
Head coach Mike Fleck says the team's spring success has been because of increase in tournament play.
Scoring Average Leaders
Johnny Watts - 73.78
Michael VanDeventer - 75.25
James Blackwell - 75.63
"It's just getting back into that tournament mode and playing tournaments that matter," Fleck said.
Former Mid-American Conference Championship medalist Johnny Watts has led the team throughout the year. The sophomore's scoring average this season is a 73.78.
Watts has not been the only one stepping up, however. Sophomore Michael VanDeventer has a 75.25 scoring average while senior James Blackwell is right behind with a 75.65.
Fleck says that it is a team effort that has led to the team's achievements this season, stating "it's got to be a collective effort."
Ball State began the fall with a last place finish at the Northern Intercollegiate in Sugar Grove, Ill. It struggled throughout finishing in last place in two of its seven fall events.
The team finished in the top three only one time in the fall.
Even after a rough start to the spring season, the tides have changed. The team started out struggling finishing seventh of eight teams at the Earl Yestingsmeier Match Play tournament in Florida then returned with a 10th place finish at the Colleton River Collegiate.
Since then, the team has not finished in the bottom half of any invitational. Fleck said his team has been able to practice more as the weather began to improve.
"I think it's just getting back on the course on a daily basis," Fleck said.
The team will look to continue to build on the late season success to finish better than its seventh place showing at the MAC Championships last season.
With the weather improving, Ball State will have time to continue its practice on the green going into the MAC Championships on April 26-28.