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Feb. 22, 2010

NEW LONDON, N.C. – Freshman Dean Hester battled the elements and a tough golf course on Monday to lead a group of South Carolina men’s golfers at the Johnny Palmer Invitational at Old North State Golf Club.

Hester shot 40-38=78 (+6) on a wet, nasty day to find himself in a six-way tie for 11th place following one round of play. Hester is one of four South Carolina individuals competing in the event, the third of the 2009-10 season for the Gamecock junior varsity “Garnet Team.”

Dykes Harbin, who won the CSU Fall Invitational in October, shot 40-42=82 (+10) and is tied for 31st place with seven other competitors. Senior Bryan Miller was one shot behind Harbin with a 40-43=83 (+11), and junior Chase Liebler is tied for 61st place with rounds of 44-44=88 (+16).

Lenoir-Rhyne’s Jason Garrett leads the event after a round of 70 (-2), while David McGregor of Post and Noah Ratner of Guilford are tied for second at 74 (+2). The course played to an average of 82.45 in the first round as the players battled rain throughout the day.

Play resumes with the second round Tuesday morning.