News & ToursNovember 24, 2009

Mid-season awards: Top freshmen

It's only been one semester, but these first-year players have made the jump from junior to college golf with few problems.

__NATIONAL FRESHMAN OF THE (MID-)YEAR

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__[#image: /photos/55ad71d1add713143b4233c6]|||Cody Gribble.jpeg|||

Cody Gribble, Texas

Starting his career with the Longhorns with three top-three finishes has helped the Dallas native become a leader on the UT squad in a short period of time. Gribble's style of play had led to some exciting moments; to wit, he had five eagles at the UTSA Lone Star Invitational this fall. Better yet for coach__John Fields__ and his backers: Gribble leads the country in final-round scoring with a 67.25 average.

Fields has said publicly that he feels Gribble's decision to play primarily an amateur schedule the past 2 1/2 years rather than a junior one has made the transition go as smoothly as it has. Says Fields, the level of competition isn't new to Gribble.

*Honorable mention: Cameron Peck, Texas A&M

The top junior coming out of high school has qualified for the Aggies starting line-up in all four events that the defending NCAA champs have played. Moreover, he seems to be getting more and more comfortable with each event, finishing T-2 at the Baylor Intercollegiate to close the fall.

__WOMEN

__[#image: /photos/55ad71d1add713143b4233c4]|||Kristina Merkle.jpeg|||

Kristina Merkle, Tulsa

While having a following back home in Honolulu, Merkle was under the radar nationally coming into college. Her performances this fall, however, have changed all that. Merkle started with a T-3 finish at the Mo-Morial, improved to a runner-up showing at the Marilyn Smith Sunflower, then did herself one better again when she won the Johnie Imes Invitational. To close the fall, she posted a T-5 at the Turtle Bay Collegiate, wrapping up the first half of the season with a 72.4 average.

*Honorable mention: Amy Anderson, North Dakota State

*The U.S. Girls Junior champion made a big splash in her first 54-hole college event, winning the Chip--N-Club Invitational while setting the school's 18- and 54-hole scoring records. This came after winning the 18-hole Concordia Open to start her college career. She continued her fine play with a third win and two other top-seven finishes.

__GOLF WORLD ALL-FRESHMEN MID-SEASON TEAM

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Pedro Figueiredo__, UCLA

70.10 avg., 2 starts, 1 runner-up, 2 top-8s

Cody Gribble, Texas

70.80 avg., 4 starts, 4 top-3s, 5 eagles

Daniel Jennevret, TCU

73.11 avg., 3 starts, 1 win (The Prestige)

Cameron Peck, Texas A&M

72.58 avg., 4 starts, 2 top-5s

Jade Scott, Rice

71.80 avg., 5 starts, 1 win (David Toms), 4 top-10s

__WOMEN

__Amy Anderson, North Dakota State

73.60 avg., 5 starts, 3 wins (Concordia Open, Chip-N-Club, No. Arizona), 5 top-7s

Sarah Beth Davis, Texas A&M

73.09 avg., 4 starts, 1 win (Mo-Morial), 3 top-6s

Laura Gonzalez Escallon, Purdue

73.92, 4: T-5, T-9, T-6, T-54

Jennifer Johnson, Arizona State

71.25, 3: T-7, T-6, T-10

Kristina Merkle, Tulsa

72.40, 4: T-3, 2, Win (Johnnie Imes), T-5

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