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Aug. 16, 2012

GREENSBORO, N.C. — South Carolina incoming freshman Matt NeSmith posted a solid round of even-par 70 on Thursday as he played against some of the best golfers in the world in the first round of the PGA Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C.

NeSmith, who earned a sponsor’s exemption to play in the tournament by winning the AJGA Footjoy Invitational in June, finished the day in a tie for 80th. He is eight shots behind tournament leader Carl Pettersson, who fired an 8-under 62.

A native of North Augusta, S.C., NeSmith got off to a rough start as he began the day on the back nine and quickly dropped to 3-over through five holes. However, he caught fire before the turn, making birdies on holes 15, 16 and 18 to move to even par. After four consecutive pars, a birdie at the fifth left NeSmith at 1-under, but he bogeyed the seventh to fall back to even. He went on to par the final two holes to get into the clubhouse with a 70.

Former Gamecock standouts Kyle Thompson and Mark Anderson carded rounds of 69 (-1) and 72 (+2), respectively. Thompson will head into the second round tied for 60th, while Anderson is in a tie for 116th.

NeSmith will attempt to make the cut on Friday as he is slated to tee off in the second round at 9 a.m. on hole No. 1. Live scoring for the tournament will be available by clicking here, while the Golf Channel will provide television coverage from 3-6 p.m.