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Dec. 29, 2012

LITCHFIELD PARK, Ariz. — South Carolina freshman Matt NeSmith posted a 2-over 72 to open play at the 2012 Patriot All-America Invitational on Saturday on the Gold Course at Wigwam Golf Club.

NeSmith is tied for 25th just four strokes back of tournament leaders Sebastian Cappelen and Kevin Penner, who each shot a 2-under 68.

NeSmith is competing against a field that features 84 collegiate golfers from across the nation. Players earning PING All-America honors from the previous season in NCAA Divisions I, II and III plus the NAIA and NJCAA are eligible to be invited to participate in the Patriot All-America. Additionally, a player from the United States Military, Naval and Air Force Academies have been invited, along with Golf Coaches Association of America national award recipients, members of the most recent Palmer Cup Teams, American Junior Golf Association All-Americans and Toyota Junior Golf World Cup participants currently enrolled as college freshmen.

The Wigwam Golf Club, along with the Arizona Golf Association and the Golf Coaches Association of America, are partnering with the Folds of Honor Foundation to host the tournament.

To show support for Folds of Honor, each golfer is carrying a commemorative PING golf bag bearing the name of a fallen soldier from the community in which they live or attend school. NeSmith, a native of North Augusta, S.C., is representing Army CWO Jason G. Defrenn.

Second-round play is set to begin at 10 a.m. on Sunday.