In a field full of teams that made the postseason just a year ago from Missouri and LSU to postseason newcomers like Stetson, the Cardinals had their hands full heading into their first competition of the 2023 season.
Despite the field, Ball State was able to showcase its own talent through returning sophomore Carter Smith and junior Griffin Hare who helped the Cardinals earn 4th place.
Smith led Ball State with a combined score of 7-under-par followed by Hare at 1-under-par. Both Smith and Hare placed top 10 individually within the competition.
Monday - Round 1 & 2
Eighteen holes into the competition, Ball State found itself near the front of the pack in fourth place. Leading the charge for the Cardinals was Smith at 4-under-par followed by Hare at 2-under-par.
Ball State momentarily entered a three-way tie for second as the second round got underway before slipping back into fourth place, just one stroke away from third by the end of the night when the competition was abruptly cut short by thunderstorms.
“(There were) some moments where we didn't make the best decisions and we've got mistakes we can clean up for sure, but it’s a good competitive field and I think all you can ask for is to be in a good position going into tomorrow,” head coach Mike Fleck said.
Tuesday - Round 3
Ball State ended round three with three players in the top fifteen as Smith, Hare, and redshirt junior Ali Khan helped the Cardinals maintain their 4th ranked placement through the end of the competition.
“Carter played solid, had all three rounds under par, and a top 5 finish is a really good start for him,” Fleck said.
Smith again led Ball State with his final round 2-under-par with a score of 71.
“I wanted to see a little more from my guys, but unfortunately we just didn’t really have it,” Fleck said. “It’s just hard without really having a fourth scorer all week, but it’s good to get this one under our belt. To have three guys in the top 15 is a really good start, we just need to build on this one and get ready for our home event.”
Ball State heads home to Delaware Country Club for its next bout in the Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational this upcoming weekend, Sept. 9 and 10.