Mid-season Awards: Most Improved
Improvement is what every coach and player are looking for. Here's a glance at some individuals who really raised their games this fall.
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER
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Jarred Bossio, Idaho
In the 69 rounds of college golf that the Olympia, Wash., native had played prior to the start of his junior season last September, Bossio had shot just five sub-70 scores while accumulating a 73.77 career average. Yet in the nine rounds he played his fall Bossio broke 70 four times, including a 65 at Palouse Ridge Intercollegiate, a 63 at the Kikkor Golf Husky Invitational and a 64 at the Herb Wimberly Intercollegiate. He had no finish worse than T-5 in his three starts while boasting a 69.44 average.
Honorable mention: Matt Broome, Furman
The junior from Barrington, R.I., saw his stroke average drop 4.98 strokes from last season (75.29) to this fall (70.31), when he carded a win, two top-five finishes and three top-10s in five starts. Not bad when you consider in six starts last season he had just one top-10 finish.
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Natalie Gleadall, Mississippi
After transferring from Nebraska last January, the Canadian native looked like she had adjusted rather well to her move to Oxford, winning the Cougar Classic and finishing in the top five in two other starts. Her 72.83 stroke average was 5.57 shots lower than her total from last spring, when her best showing was a T-45 at the Rebel Invitational.
Mind you it wasn't just a change in scenery that explains the improvement. Gleadall fine-tuned her swing with noted instructor__Hank Johnson__, shortening her stroke in order to take some of the curve out of her shots while maintaining her impressive length off the tee. The adjustments became to take hold this summer when Gleadall finished eighth in the Ontario Women's Amateur and T-18 at the Canadian Women's Amateur.
"She started clicking on all cylinders and she brought it to school [this fall]," said Mississippi women's coach Michele Drinkard. "You could see it when she stepped on campus. She had the confidence and was ready to go."
A lower ball flight didn't harm her distance control as Gleadall averaged 10 greens in regulation inside 20 feet during her first three starts of the fall.
Honorable mention: Lauren Weaver, Northwestern
There's been no sophomore slump for the Scottsdale, Ariz., native, who carded only two top-10s in 12 starts last season for the Wildcats but managed three in five starts this fall, including a victory at the Lady Northern Invitational. Weaver's 73.73 average for the first half of the 2010-11 season was two strokes lower than a year ago.