To say picking the top male and female player of the first half of the 2013-14 campaign was easy would be a stretch, but Golf World's honorees weren't hard cases to argue despite a field of worthy contenders. Can they maintain their high level of play into the spring season? We'll all just have to wait and see.
Without further ado ...
So much for taking a semester to settle into college. These first-year students that claimed this year's top mid-season honors for freshmen have looked like seasoned upperclassmen with the way they've performed on the course.
When you see my picks for the top coaches of the mid-season, you might roll your eyes. People frequently shy away from giving coaches of highly talented teams their due for being successful, the concept coming from the idea that that pretty much anyone could drive the van, get the five players to the course and walking off with a nice trophy after two or three rounds.
Oh if it were only that easy.
So it is that I tip my cap to cap to those who not only appear to overachieve with their squads but those who live up to expectations as well.
I've done my best to assess as many players as I can to see who among college golf's populace has made the biggest strides this fall. It's inherently a subjective endeavor, and I admittedly shy away from some high-profile names to help recognize the efforts of others who have put in the time and effort to lower their stroke averages and climb up leader boards.
With that, here are some players whose games have taken more than simply a step or two forward but full strides this fall.
The fall season always serves as a chance to gauge just how good some teams and individuals are compared to the competition. It also, however, leaves some programs and players scratching their heads trying to figure out just what they've actually learned—and what might be in store for the future.
Questions regarding what to expect in the spring have surfaced, both for teams that stumbled out of the gate as well as squads that are putting together historic seasons. Here are a few that are likely to have national ramifications come the second half of the 2013-14 campaign.
I like to think I make some decent educated guesses in the players I've selected for these awards in years past. With Thomas Pieters, Matt Hill, Nick Taylor, Lizette Salas and Marta Silva Zamora among them, I've had a decent track record. Last year my selections included Michael Kim and James Erkenbeck. The former won earned the Jack Nicklaus Award as the national collegiate player of the year at California and the latter was a first-team All-American at New Mexico who reached the semifinals of the U.S. Amateur Public Links, so I think my credibility remains for another season.
With that, here are some players who devoted college golf fan might know about but who casual fans should become familiar with in the near future.
We have reached intermission for the 2013-14 college season, which means only one thing for loyal readers of Campus Insider.
Time for the annual Golf World Mid-Season College Awards.
By now you know the drill, this being the ninth year of the MiSCAs* ... Once again the hope is to recognize several honorees for the hard work they put in during the first half of the season. Each day I'll reveal a new award and its recipients, culminating in the men's and women's Player of the Mid-Season Award on Monday, Nov. 25.
In the process, we'll assess what we've seen during the first three months of action and take an educated guess at what might be in store when the break ends in late January and the play continues.
With that, I'll begin by revealing my biggest surprises of the first semester.