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Oct. 3, 2011

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DAUFUSKIE ISLAND, S.C. — In its first year hosting the Rees Jones Invitational, the South Carolina men’s golf team is in contention to win the event heading into the final day. The Gamecocks posted rounds of 305 and 293 to wrap up a grueling 36 holes on Monday in second place with a score of 598 (+22).

South Carolina is just four strokes back of Iowa State (594) heading into Tuesday’s final round at the Rees Jones Signature Course at Haig Point Club. South Carolina head coach Bill McDonald was pleased with his team’s effort, considering tough playing conditions allowed only five golfers to shoot below par on the day.

“I’m really proud of the guys and how they battled today,” said McDonald, who led the Gamecocks to wins at Haig Point in 2008 and 2009. “Playing 36 holes at Haig Point is an unbelievable test. We did a great job staying patient and committed to our game plan.”

Junior Dykes Harbin continued his solid play for the Gamecocks as he posted rounds of 72-73=145 (+1) to finish the day in a tie for second. Harbin and Wake Forest’s Lee Bedford are seven shots back of Iowa State’s Nate McCoy (138), who jumped out in front by tying the tournament record with a 4-under-par 68 in the first round.

South Carolina freshman Sean Kelly struggled to an 81 (+9) in the opening round but bounced back nicely with a 3-under-par 69 in the second round. Kelly is in a tie for 15th with three other golfers, including freshman teammate Caleb Sturgeon. Sturgeon, who made his first career tournament appearance for the Gamecocks, carded rounds of 74-76=150 (+6).

Sophomore Blaine Woodruff is in a tie for 26th after shooting rounds of 78-75=153 (+9), while junior Dean Hester shot rounds of 84-80=164 (+20). Junior Clint Tolleson, who is playing as an individual, is tied for 45th with scores of 77-81=158 (+14).

Wake Forest is in third with a score of 602 (+26), followed by Georgia State (603) and Kennesaw State (605).

Final-round play is set to begin Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.

T2. Dykes Harbin 72-73=145
T15. Sean Kelly 81-69=150
T15. Caleb Sturgeon 74-76=150
T26. Blaine Woodruff 78-75=153
60. Dean Hester 84-80=164
*T45. Clint Tolleson 77-81=158
*Playing as an individual