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Lyerly, Childress finish in top 20 of Joe Cheves Invitational

Staff report

MORGANTON — Salisbury’s Nick Lyerly and Michael Childress finished in the top 20 of the Joe Cheves Junior Invitational golf tournament here Sunday.

Played at Mimosa Hills Country Club, the Joe Cheves Invitational is considered one of the premier junior golf events in the Southeast. This year’s event featured 74 top young players.

Lyerly, a senior at East Rowan High School, finished in a seven-way tie for 11th place after carding a 73 on Sunday. He shot a 4-under par 68 in Saturday’s first round. He was at 141 for the tournament, 3-under par.

Childress, a junior at Cannon School in Concord, tied for 18th place with four other golfers, also shooting a 73 on Sunday after an opening-round 69. He finished at 142, 2-under par.

On Friday, Lyerly and Childress, playing together, teamed up for a Labor Day 4-ball qualifying score of 64, 7-under par, at the Country Club of Salisbury. That annual event starts next Saturday and Lyerly and Childress are the No. 2 seed, after defending champions Phil Miller and Andrew Morgan.

Trent Phillips of Inman, S.C., won the Joe Cheves tournament on Sunday, firing back-to-back 67s for a 134 total score, 10-under par. Phillips is a high school junior.

High school freshman Akshay Bhatia, of Wake Forest, had led for most of Sunday’s final round, but bogeyed the last two holes. He finished second with a 135, 9-under par.

Lyerly started the day tied for sixth place but couldn’t make up any ground as he scored pars on the first 12 holes. He had pars on the last four holes on Saturday, giving him 16 consecutive at one point.

But Lyerly had a bogey on the par-3 13th hole and also one on the par-4 16th. He did birdie on the par-5 15th, but by then, had fallen off the pace of Phillips and Bhatia.

Childress was tied for ninth place after Saturday’s first round and he did have five birdies on Sunday. But Childress also had four bogeys during the round and a double bogey on the same par-3 13th hole that tripped up Lyerly.

Childress finished strong, getting back to 2-under par for the tournament, with birdies on the 16th and 18th holes, both par-4s.

Three golfers from Concord were in the tournament. Aman Gupta tied for 29th at 144, Tim Bunten, Childress’ teammate at Cannon, tied for 33rd at 145 and Stephen Carroll was tied for 53rd place with a two-day score of 149.

Elisa Yang, of Norcross, Ga., won the girls’ tournament with a 8-under par 136. She won by five strokes over Madison Moosa of Charlotte and Aneka Seumanutafa of Emmitsburg, Md.

Kathryn Carson of Mooresville was 2-under par at 142, finishing in fourth place. Emily Hawkins of Lexington tied for seventh place at 146.

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