After coming in second place in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) championship, Ball State Men’s Golf looks to the postseason, playing in the first National Golf Invitational (NGI) tournament hosted by Golfweek.
The tournament will be held at the Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club in Maricopa, Arizona.
The Cardinals qualified with their two tournament titles this spring. With those wins, Ball State gained almost 30 spots in the national rankings.
The tournament is an 18-team, 54-hole tournament that will last through May 19-21. The Cardinals will have their practice round today to scope out the course.
“We're excited,” head coach Mike Fleck said. “Obviously the opportunity to extend our season is something that everybody's pretty excited about. Honestly, we're looking forward to competing and being in a position to contend for a national title.”
Fleck said it was around 100 degrees when they got to Arizona and that it will push 100 degrees during the tournament play. He also said desert golf is a little bit different than what the team is used to seeing in the Midwest, the ball carries a little bit farther and with the different grass it brings a new challenge.
Fleck said the team will use the practice round to get acclimated to everything and be ready to roll for the weekend.
“I think just getting comfortable with everything, the golf course, changes with time zone, and then just your body adjusting to staying hydrated and dealing with the heat,” Fleck said. “We're doing what we need to do to be in the best position we can come Friday.”
Fleck accredited some of their regular season opponents for them preparing the Cardinals. He also said the team is used to elevated competition, and that the teams in the tournament are not far off from competition they saw during the regular season.
“I'll be honest, I think we can compete to win here,” Fleck said. “I think with this being an inaugural event, and it's the first one, it would be pretty special to be in contention to win this thing come Sunday and make a little bit of history. I think our guys are going to be focused on the task and we're going to try to play the best we can. Obviously, the goal is to try to compete for a national title here at this National Golf Invitational.”