Ball State Men’s Golf closes out fall season with 3rd place finish, pair of top 10 individual performers

<p>Junior Joey Ranieri hits the ball Oct. 1, 2018. Ranieri was ranked second on the team with a 73.00 stroke average in 2019. <strong>Jeff Harwell, Photo Provided</strong></p>

Junior Joey Ranieri hits the ball Oct. 1, 2018. Ranieri was ranked second on the team with a 73.00 stroke average in 2019. Jeff Harwell, Photo Provided

Ball State placed third out of 10 participants in the Dayton Flyer Invitational Oct. 18-19. The Cardinals finished with a final score of 871 (19-over-par).

“We finished the fall season on a pretty decent note,” head coach Mike Fleck said. “Even though it's still a fairly young group, it still probably was our most experienced group going into this event.”

The Cardinals finished fourth on par 3s (19-over-par), while finishing third on par 4s (24-over-par) and par 5s (5-under-par).

Senior Joey Ranieri placed sixth among individuals (214), with scores of 69, 75 and 70. His best performance came on par 4s, where he scored even with a 4.00 average.

“We've got an All-MAC performer in Joey Ranieri,” Fleck said. “We just have to somehow try to continue to create some depth. In the tournament environment with the five guys, we showed some time for that this week. I think we had several complementing rounds with Ali’s (Khan) first two rounds, Griffin Hare had a good number and Joey Wiseman contributed.”

Redshirt freshman Ali Khan tied for ninth place with a final score of 216. His best performance came in the second round with a 70. Khan led the Cardinals on par 5s with a 4.67 (3-under-par) average.

“(Khan) is getting more comfortable in this tournament environment,” Fleck said. “He's from Ohio, so I think he felt comfortable playing. It's not all that far from home and it's a golf course that he has some familiarity with. Generally, seeing his progress a little bit, especially versus last week, he just gets more reps in and because of it, he's getting a little bit more comfortable. When you get a little bit more comfortable, your chances of success increase a little bit as well.”

Junior Joey Ranieri tees off Oct. 1, 2018. Ranieri earned the Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year Award in 2019. Jeff Harwell, Photo Provided

Junior Joey Wiseman tied for 16th place (219), with a career high 68 score in the third round. Wiseman shot a team-high 3.08 (1-over-par) average on par 3s, and Fleck believes Wiseman is just scratching the surface of the player he can become. 

“Well, no doubt today he showed signs of the player that I think he can be and I want him to be,” Fleck said. “Honestly, he’s struggled through the fall season. Again, I think it's another case of a guy that just doesn't have a ton of tournament experience getting those reps in and being comfortable. I think looking at his stats, his stroke game putting was on the positive side of the equation.”

To round out the five-man lineup, redshirt freshman Griffin Hare tied for 25th (223) and junior Evan Bone tied for 51st (231).

The Cardinals led the field in birdies (45). Khan, Ranieri and Wiseman each recorded 10.

Wright State placed first with a final score of 848 (4-under-par).

As the Cardinals prepare for the spring season, Fleck has a clear focus in mind.

“In the spring, it's going to have to be a collective effort,” Fleck said. “It's nice having a player like Ranieri, but from a team standpoint, we need to get a little bit more contribution across the board a little bit more consistently.”

Ball State returns to action Feb. 7-8 in the Earl Yestingsmeier Match Play. The tournament will be hosted by the Lake Jovita Golf & Country Club in Dade City, Florida.

Contact Charleston Bowles with comments at or on Twitter @cbowles01


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