Ball State Men’s Golf began its fall qualifying for the upcoming season over the weekend. Having placed second in the Mid-American Conference Championships the past two seasons, this year’s team features a mix of fresh faces and returners.

The Cardinals will not begin the fall portion of their regular season for nearly three weeks. However, last weekend gave head coach Mike Fleck a sense of what to expect throughout the upcoming season and how to better determine lineups. 

Fleck said scores are added up to determine who gets the luxury of traveling to tournaments away from home.

One unique aspect is out of seven athletes, there is only one upperclassman: senior Timothy Wiseman. Wiseman, the first Ball State golfer to compete in the U.S. Open this past summer, is looking forward to taking a greater leadership role. 

“In the past, most of the guys were a year or two older than me, so [being a leader] will be something new,” Wiseman said. 

This season, the team welcomes two freshmen: Yianni Kostouros and Joey Ranieri. Kostouros is excited to travel and enjoy the perks of collegiate athletics, yet he realizes he will need to work with the team in order to achieve his personal goals while on the green. 

Kostouros said he was used to being the top guy in high school, and adjusting to college play has been a new experience. 

Although Fleck knows the team may be relatively inexperienced at the collegiate level, he views this as an opportunity to continue developing his coaching style while pushing the newer athletes out of their comfort zone.

“It’s a young, fresh team, and my job as a coach is to connect with [the athletes]. I kind of want to toughen them up a little,” Fleck said.

The Cardinals’ first tournament of the regular season will take place September 16-18, as they will participate in the Golfweek Conference Challenge in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

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