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Dec. 21, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. – At least four former South Carolina men’s golfers will have some level of eligibility for the 2010 season on the PGA Tour, Nationwide Tour or European Tour as qualifying school for all three circuits wrapped up earlier this month.

Brett Quigley, a 1991 graduate of South Carolina, retained his PGA Tour card for the 13th season after finishing 62nd on the final Official Money List for the 2009 season. In 28 events, Quigley made 17 cuts and earned over $1.4 million, including three runner-up finishes at the Puerto Rico Open, the Transitions Championship and the John Deere Classic.

Another Gamecock will be making his professional debut in 2010. Mark Anderson, a 2008 Carolina graduate, finished tied for 34th at the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament to earn fully exempt status on the Nationwide Tour. Anderson competed in his first PGA Tour event last season, playing as an amateur in the Verizon Heritage at Harbour Town in April. The native of Beaufort, S.C., made a strong push for a berth on the United States Walker Cup team. Advancing to the round of 16 at the U.S. Amateur after earning the No. 2 seed in stroke play qualifying. The two-time All-American for the Gamecocks also won the South Carolina State Amateur in August.

Anderson got off to a rough start at Q-School, shooting 75-74 in his first two rounds to find himself near the bottom of the leaderboard. But he made a charge over the final four days, shooting 69-69-70-68 to finish at 425 (-7) over the grueling, 108-hole event, just two strokes out of the top 25 and full exempt status on the PGA Tour.

Across the pond, 2006 graduate Eirik Johansen earned his European Tour card for the second straight year with a tie for seventh place at the European Tour qualifier. He shot rounds of 75-65-66-71-69-67=413 (-15) to earn his second-straight top-10 finish in final stage qualifying; he tied for sixth place in 2008. He played in 20 events on the European Tour in 2009, making seven cuts and earning ?45,182 to finish 213th on the European Tour Order of Merit.

Alex Hamilton, a 2005 graduate, will have conditional status on the 2010 Nationwide Tour after tying for 116th at Q-School with rounds of 78-72-70-73-75-69=437 (+5). Hamilton competed in two events on the NGA Hooters Tour in 2009.