U.S. Open

Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No. 2)

The Loop

Mid-season Awards: Player you'll know by season's end

November 22, 2010

Here are some names you won't have to work hard to hear come the spring. They're all ready for their close-ups.


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Jordan Russell, Texas A&M

The junior from College State stepped into his own this fall with an American victory at the Topy Cup (while breaking the school's 18-hole mark, 63, and tying the 54-hole record, 203) and top-three finishes at the U.S. Collegiate and Royal Oaks Invitational. Through the fall, he ranks in the top-10 in birdies (61) and birdie conversion (35.1 percent). The performances amplified the strides the 22-year-old made last spring when he won the Aggie Invitational and had two other top-five finishes.

"Jordan has worked so hard and played so well over the last year that is great to see him receive credit and recognition for his achievements," Texas A&M coach J.T. Higgins said. "He is a terrific competitor, and I am excited to see how he does against the best players in the nation."

Honorable mention:* Lee Bedford, Wake Forest

A victory at the Carpet Capital Classic was one of five top-10 finishes this fall for the junior from Cary, N.C. In the 2010 calendar year, he has had no college showing worse than T-17.


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Pia Halbig, California

The senior from Germany was an honorable mention All-American her sophomore year and an All-Pac-10 performer her junior season. She then opened her senior year in the fall with a two third-place finishes and a victory at the Mason Rudolph. Halbig credited her putting for the first win in her college career, an area of improvement that suggests even better things could be on the horizon in her final season at Berkeley.

Honorable mention: Martina Gavier, Kent State

Her incremental improvement with the Golden Flashes has continued this fall as she has finished second, fourth, third and T-2 in four starts. This comes after wins at the MAC Championship and the NCAA Central Regional for the Argentina native last spring. A good spring could allow her to become the school's first first-team All-American.