Lyerly defends Rowan Junior Open championship
Published 9:14 pm Tuesday, August 23, 2016
CHINA GROVE — Nick Lyerly shot a blistering 66 on Tuesday at Warrior Golf Club to win his second straight Rowan Junior Open championship.
Lyerly, 17, a senior at East Rowan High School, defended his title as he also won the event in 2015.
The tournament is a two-day event, with Monday’s round being held at The Club at Irish Creek in Kannapolis. Lyerly shot a 71 on Monday and held a one-stroke lead over Ray Dawood of Durham, going into Tuesday’s final round.
“My main goal was to win the tournament and defend the title,” said Lyerly, who has been in tournaments all over the country this summer. “This has always been one of my favorite tournaments because Irish Creek and the Warrior do such a great job with it.”
Lyerly had six birdies and just one bogey on Tuesday.
“Everything was working,” said Lyerly. “My driver was working well, I hit good irons and made a few putts — that’s the formula, I guess.”
Lyerly got off to a fast start yesterday, with birdies on the first, fourth and ninth holes. The only bogey of the round came on the par-3, No. 12, where he missed a three-foot putt for par.
But like the champion he is, Lyerly bounced back immediately, with birdies on No. 13, No. 14 and No. 16. He missed a four-foot putt for birdie on No. 15, but got his par there.
Lyerly thought that the key to the tournament, however, came on Monday at Irish Creek.
He was 3-over par through 12 holes on Monday and was able to score birdies on three of the next four holes. Lyerly finished with an even-par 71 at Irish Creek.
“That was big,” said Lyerly. “Getting it back to par on Monday was very important, giving me some momentum for the second round. I felt it at the time, and that was the turning point.”
Dawood fell back with a 77 yesterday and second place was actually grabbed by Gray Matthews of Raleigh, shot 70 at the Warrior, following a 75 at Irish Creek.
Campbell Rand of Durham was third at 146, behind Lyerly (137) and Matthews (145). Nicklaus Sutton finished fourth at 148 (71-77) but won the boys’ 14-15-year-old division.
Dawood finished fifth at 149, tied with Luke Hackworth of Charlotte.
South Rowan High School had a four golfers in the tournament. Freshman Andrew Coward finished 12th overall and sixth in the 14-15 age group with a strong score of 158 (76-82). Parker Chavis followed in 15th place with a 160 (73-87). Andrew Hubbard at 167 (82-85) was 28th and Davis Tadlock was 37th with a two-day school of 181.
Chavis and Hubbard are seniors at South this year, while Tadlock is a sophomore. Along with Coward, the Raiders look to have a very competitive squad next spring. Of course, East will also be strong again with Lyerly and junior Bryson Sprinkle leading the way.
Sprinkle had a two-day 159 (80-79) to finish in 14th place, two behind Coward.
Carson High School senior Patrick Street was 17th at 161 (78-83).
Austin Miller, an East freshman, was 34th with a 177 (88-89) and Hank Robbins, a Salisbury freshman, was 35th at 178 (91-87).
On Friday, Lyerly will team up with another talented local golfer, Michael Childress of Salisbury, to qualify for the annual Crowder-Dorsett Labor Day 4-Ball Tournament at the Country Club of Salisbury.
Then on Saturday and Sunday, Lyerly and Childress will play in the prestigious Joe Cheves Here is the link to the Joe Cheves Junior Invitational at Mimosa Hills Country Club in Morganton.
“I’m really looking forward to the Labor Day Tournament,” added Lyerly, “and I know that Michael is too. It should be fun.”
Charlie Barr of Salisbury won the 11-13 year-old division by 21 strokes. Barr had a 69 on Monday at Irish Creek and a 72 yesterday at the Warrior for a tournament-winning total of 141.
Colby Patterson of Salisbury was second to Barr with a 162 (82-80) and Ben Childress finished in a tie for third place at 165 (82-83).
Other Salisbury golfers in this division were Will Fowler (5th, 88-91—179), Luke Graeber (8th, 101-89—190), Will Webb (9th, 93-99—192), Harrison McCall (11th, 100-101—201) and Aden Castor (129-122—251).
Five Rowan County golfers were in this division but four finished well back in the field.
As mention earlier, Coward was fifth in this age group. Austin Miller of Rockwell was 15th at 177 (88-89), Hank Robbins of Salisbury followed in 16th place (91-87—178), Tadlock was 18th, and Ethan Mastro of Salisbury was 20th at 205 (107-98).
The 8-10-year-olds played nine holes each day and Jaden Sprinkle of Salisbury won first place with a two-day score of 78 (41-37).
Jacob Trainor of Salisbury followed Sprinkle with a second-place finish at 88 (49-39) and Warren Fesperman of Salisbury was third at 92 (44-48).
Other Salisbury golfers in this division were: Tyler Kepley (97), Hank Webb (101), Landon Merrell (101), John McCoy (109), Drew Aron (112) and Bo Brincefield (125).
9th Rowan Junior Open