News & ToursNovember 22, 2010

Mid-season Awards: Best player you've never heard of

__MEN

__[#image: /photos/55ad7341add713143b424bf1]|||Philipp Westermann.jpg|||

Philipp Westermann, Southeastern Louisiana

He began his college career last January as spring enrollee from Germany and has played in just 11 events so far for the Lions. Only twice, however, has Westernmann finished outside the top 10 in any start, compiling a 71.67 average in that time and recording eight top-five finishes. Perhaps he doesn't play the toughest schedule in college golf, but when you're name is on the leader board at nearly every event, you're obviously doing something right.

Honorable mention:* Kevin Phelan, North Florida

A freshman season that included eight top-10 finishes along with qualifying for the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach and playing for his native Ireland at World Amateur Team are part of the the sophomore's burgeoning resume.

__WOMEN

__[#image: /photos/55ad7341add713143b424bf5]|||Alex Buelow.jpg|||

Alex Buelow, Stetson

She claimed the Atlantic Sun player of the year award last May as a freshman, the first golfer in conference history to do so (she took home top rookie honors too). Half a year later, there's been no sophomore slump for the Palm City, Fla., native. In four fall starts, she has finished no worse than T-10, claiming a share of the individual title at the UNCG-Starmount Forest event.

Honorable mention: Nicole Zhang, Notre Dame

The Canadian native followed in her older brother Dustin's footsteps, coming to South Bend after having qualified to play in the U.S. Women's Open this past summer. In her first college tournament, she broke the ND 54-hole scoring record to win the Mary Fossum. In her four subsequent starts she had two more top-threes and no finish worse that T-17.

More from The Loop