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May 26, 2008

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina director of golf Puggy Blackmon has been busy this month handing out letterman jackets to renown golf architect Paul “Pete” Dye and 1949 South Carolina grad Latimer Williams III, who waited nearly 60 years to receive his recognition.

When Dye was on campus earlier this month to receive an honorary doctorate from the University’s Moore School of Business, Blackmon wanted to further honor one of the most influential course architects in the world by naming him an honorary Gamecock golf letterman. Among the 23 states in which Dye has designed and built golf courses, South Carolina is home to seven, including The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island and Harbour Town Golf Links at Hilton Head Island. In 2005, he received the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award, and he will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in November 2008.

1523820.jpeg“With the game of golf playing such a major role in our state’s economy and the fact that Pete Dye is responsible for many of South Carolina’s premier layouts, it is only fitting that he receive such prestigious awards,” Blackmon said. “Both he and his wife, Alice, have been integral forces in the game of golf for several decades.”

Williams earned his letterman jacket as part of the 1949 Gamecock team that went undefeated in 14 matches but did not don the apparel until Blackmon delivered it to him in his Charlotte apartment on Saturday. Williams’ son, David, set the delivery in motion after his father made an off-hand comment about the award upon learning that his grandson, Harrison, was set to make a visit to the University. David pursued the issue with the athletics department, leading to Blackmon and the plan to surprise his father with the long-overdue garment.