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Jan. 21, 2011

By Wes Todd
Assistant Media Relations Director

With the 2011 professional golf season underway – in its third week, actually – it’s time for to take a look at the former South Carolina golfers active on various tours around the world. A total of 10 former Gamecocks are playing professionally, with two having some level of status on the PGA Tour, two fully exempt on the European Tour and a total of four with some level of status on the Nationwide Tour.

Brett Quigley finished outside the top 125 on the PGA Tour’s Official Money List in 2010, coming in at 158th with season earnings of $497,296.38. It was just the second time in the last nine years for Quigley to not retain his tour card. He finished 136th in the FedEx Cup Points Race as well. Quigley is 95th in all-time career earnings on the PGA Tour with just under $11 million in official winnings. His top finish last season came at the John Deere Classic, where he posted four rounds in the 60s and finished in a tie for 10th place. He will be eligible to play in a limited number of PGA Tour events, but will also play on the Nationwide Tour.

Carl Paulson is attempting a comeback to professional golf after missing the bulk of the last five years with a back injury. He had not played competitive golf since 2005, but returned with three appearances on the Nationwide Tour in late 2010, missing the cut in all three events. The 1993 SEC Player of the Year, Paulson has retained status on the PGA Tour under the Major Medical Extension, and has the opportunity to play in 13 events in 2011 with that exemption. If he can earn $428,522 in those 13 events – which, coupled with the $198,214 he earned in 13 events in 2005 – to match the $626,736 in winnings by that year’s No. 125 (Nick Price), he would play out of the Major Medical Extension category for the rest of the season.

Kyle Thompson is fully exempt on the Nationwide Tour after finishing 49th on the money list in 2010. He made 12 cuts in 24 events and earned $138,757 in official earnings, posting three top-10 finishes and a runner-up showing at the Fort Smith Classic. Thompson, a 2002 Carolina graduate, has won two Nationwide Tour events, taking medalist honors at the Rex Hospital Open and the Oregon Classic in 2007. He played 26 events on the PGA Tour in 2008.

Mark Anderson is also fully exempt on the Nationwide Tour after finishing 60th on the money list in 2010. He competed in his first full season as a professional in 2010, making the cut in 17 of 26 events on the Nationwide Tour. He also made his first cut on the PGA Tour, tying for 81st place at the Verizon Heritage in Hilton Head Island. Anderson earned $116,183 in official money on last year’s Nationwide Tour.

Eirik Tage Johansen earned a spot on the European Tour for the third straight season after finishing in the top 30 at European Tour Qualifying School in December. Last season, Johansen finished 165th in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, making the cut in nine of 22 starts. He earned ?79,001 on last season’s European Tour, where his best performance was a 34th-place finish at the Celtic Manor Wales Open. Johansen, a 2006 Carolina graduate, is already off to a great start in 2011 as he tied for eighth place in the season-opening Africa Open in East London, South Africa.

Alex Hamilton will play on the Hooters Tour and eGolf Professional Tour in 2011. He had conditional status on the Nationwide Tour in 2010, playing in three events. He also qualified for two events on the PGA Tour, making the cut and tying for 45th place at the McGladrey Classic.

Martin Rominger will begin his sixth year playing on the Asian Tour. He finished 80th on the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2010 to earn conditional status on the 2011 tour. His best finish last season was a ninth-place showing at the Johnnie Walker Cambodian Open.

Mark Silvers III will play his second full season of professional golf on the Hooters Tour and other regional mini-tours. His most notable accomplishment was qualifying for the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, where head coach Bill McDonald served as his caddie. Silvers, a 2009 graduate of South Carolina, turned professional in the fall of 2009 and competed on the eGolf Professional Tour last year.

George Bryan IV earned his degree from South Carolina in 2010 and will begin his first year of professional golf on the Hooters Tour. He finished his Carolina career with the school record for career scoring average and was named an All-American for the third time last year.

Paul Woodbury is beginning his first year playing professional golf on the Hooters and eGolf tours. Woodbury won two tournaments last season as a senior for the Gamecocks and earned his degree last May.