In its final tournament of the fall season, Ball State Men’s Golf tied for third at the Musketeer Classic in Cincinnati, Ohio, Oct. 21-22, shooting a total score of 873 through the invitational’s three rounds.
After taking home first place at the Golfweek Conference Challenge in September, the Cardinals had been hit by inconsistencies before heading into this week’s invitational. The team had not finished in the top 10 of its three events since winning the Golfweek Conference Challenge.
Head coach Mike Fleck said he was pleased with his team’s energy this week but saw plenty of room for improvement as the Cardinals begin to look toward next spring.
“Tying for third’s not bad, but obviously it’s not what we want to set out to accomplish,” Fleck said. “We got off to a great start in round one, but in the final two rounds, we dropped off quite a bit.”
The Cardinals were led by redshirt junior Keegan Bronnenberg, who tied for third place with a total score of 212. In Monday’s opening round, Bronnenberg shot a career-low 66. This was the lowest score by a Ball State golfer since junior CJ Jones shot a 65 at last year’s Musketeer Classic.
“[Bronnenberg] continues to mature,” Fleck said. “This week, he handled himself extremely well and stayed positive. I think that had an impact on his scoring, and I think he was able to be pretty productive over the course of the 54 holes.”
Bronnenberg, sophomore Joey Ranieri and junior Jack Cunningham all shot below par in round one. In the first round, Ball State finished with a score of 278, the lowest of all 13 teams. However, the Cardinals struggled to shoot low in Monday’s second round as they fell from first to third with a score of 296.
Ball State could not capitalize on Monday’s early success in round three, shooting a score of 299. In Tuesday’s final round, freshman Joey Wiseman led the Cardinals, shooting 71 to finish at even par.
While Fleck said falling out of first place was disappointing, he remains proud of his team’s progress through the fall season. Ball State finished with three golfers in the tournament’s top 25: Bronnenberg, sophomore Yianni Kostorous and Cunningham, tying for third, 12th, and 23rd, respectively.
“We’ve done a lot of good things,” Fleck said. “Obviously, our first [tournament] was pretty good. We’ve seen a lot of positives, but we definitely have a lot of work to do. Our ball striking dropped off significantly over the last month, and we still have to put a lot of time and effort into our short game.”