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Dec. 29, 2014

LITCHFIELD PARK, Ariz. — South Carolina junior Will Starke and sophomore Ben Dietrich each shot a 1-over 71 in the first round of the 2014 Patriot All-America Invitational on Monday on the Gold Course at Wigwam Golf Club.

Starke and Dietrich are tied for seventh and are three strokes back of tournament leaders Kolton Crawford and Damon Sale, who both shot a 2-under 68 on Monday.

The Gamecock duo 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 given a commemorative golf bag with the name of a fallen service member to represent. Dietrich is representing Army Sgt. Arthur C. Williams IV, while Starke is representing Air Force Staff Sgt. Patrick Lee Griffin Jr.

Starke is scheduled to tee off in the second round on Tuesday at 11 a.m., while Dietrich will tee off at 11:10.