Despite going 6-under-par on Monday, the lowest from any Ball State golfer since 2009 and finishing third place individually, sophomore C.J. Jones remains mixed with his results at the Muskies Classic. The tournament took place Monday and Tuesday in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“I’m happy with my results, but at the same time I’m also kind of disappointed that I wasn’t able to support my team,” Jones said. “I feel like I could’ve got the job done if I was a part of the lineup.”

Jones, who competed as an individual, was one of three Ball State golfers along with redshirt sophomore Keegan Bronnenberg and freshman Joey Ranieri to finish in the tournament’s top 10. Bronnenberg and Ranieri tied for fourth and ninth respectively, leading the Cardinals to a second place finish and a combined overall score of 869.

“We ended the fall on a high note and that was kind of the goal coming into this event,” head coach Mike Fleck said. “It would’ve been nice to push Ohio State a little more, but finishing second in the field is pretty solid. It’s good to see everybody contributing.”

Weather was a huge factor on Monday. The day began with a frost delay and concluded with a suspension because of extreme darkness, postponing the remainder of Monday’s action to Tuesday. However, the Cardinals showed that the conditions didn’t hurt, as proved by Jones’ performance and Bronnenberg going 2-under-par.

Similar results were seen Tuesday. The primary highlight of the day was a very competitive final round, which saw all five players in the lineup and both individuals (Jones and redshirt sophomore Tyler Green) hit for scores less than 80.

Although this tournament was the final one this fall for the Cardinals, the team will not be having a quiet offseason. The Cardinals will spend a significant amount of time practicing at the Earl Yestingsmeier Golf Center. 

“We’ll transition into a strength program to work on getting these guys stronger,” Fleck said. “We definitely want to do some things physically to help going forward.”

One benefit of the match being the Cardinals’ last until February was that it gave all players and Fleck one last glimpse of what specifically needs to be improved on throughout the offseason, both with each player and the team as a whole. 

“Honestly, I didn’t have my normal ball striking in this tournament,” Bronnenberg said. “I definitely think something to work on this fall is my putting stroke. It wasn’t a good tournament based on the way I’ve been playing but I still thought we had a good finish.”

The Cardinals will resume tournament play on Feb. 11, when they will host the Earl Yestingsmeier Match Play in Dade City, Florida.

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