Labor Day qualifying concludes, seedings set for tournament
By Dennis Davidson
SALISBURY — Qualifying concluded on Sunday and seedings have been set for the 63rd annual Crowder-Dorsett Labor Day 4-ball golf tournament at the Country Club of Salisbury.
A total of 121 two-person teams will see action in next weekend’s event, beginning on Saturday at the country club and ending on Labor Day, Sept. 5.
The men’s championship flight will feature 16 of the teams, some of the top golfers in Rowan County and the local area.
Last year’s champions, Phil Miller and Andrew Morgan, are back to defend their title and are the automatic No. 1 seed. They will play at 1 p.m. on Saturday against the No. 16 seed, Ken Clarke and Chris Owen, who qualified with an even-par 71 and then won a two-hole playoff.
Clarke and Owen won the Labor Day title in 2012.
Two of the top junior golfers in the state and beyond, Salisbury’s own Nick Lyerly and Michael Childress, are the No. 2 seed, qualifying with a 7-under par 64 on Friday, earning medalist honors. The two high schoolers will play the No. 15 seed team, Ross Brown and Michael Dorsett on Saturday at 1:08.
Lyerly, a senior at East Rowan, won the North Carolina Amateur in June in Chapel Hill. Childress, a junior at Cannon School, has had a busy summer as well and joined Lyerly in the U.S. Junior Amateur in July.
Childress is also a former Labor Day tournament champion, winning it as a 14-year-old with Charlie Graeber in 2014.
Other championship flight pairings include: No. 3 Patrick Gregg-Kevin Lentz vs. No. 14 Jared Barnette-Justin Lefler; No. 4 Jim Christy-Alex Nianouris vs. No. 13 Jon Allen-Derek Paschal; No. 5 Josh Brincefield-Eric Mulkey vs. No. 12 Alan Fesperman-Bob Humble; No. 6 Clark Alcorn-James Kyger vs. No. 11 Lee Frick-Blake Wray; No. 7 Wally Eidson-Kyle Venrick vs. No. 10 Charlie Barr-Troy Beaver; and No. 8 Chris Nesbitt-Chris Rae vs. No. 9 Alex Antosek-Pete Kuld.
Gregg and Lentz had the second-lowest qualifying score with a stellar 66. Christy and Nianouris turned in a 67. There were two 68s — Brincefield-Mulkey and Alcorn-Kyger. Two teams had 69s during qualifying — Eidson-Venrick and Nesbitt-Rae.
Nianouris played on the golf team at Davidson College and his partner, Christy, recently won the Rowan Master’s senior title at Warrior Golf Club. Christy is also a former Labor Day champion, winning it with Phil Miller in 2009.
The Barr-Beaver team is also interesting, as Barr is a 13-year-old middle schooler and Beaver just completed his golf career at Elon University.
Allen and Paschal are former Catawba College golfers and Antosek is a junior and golfer at Salisbury High.
The women’s championship has just five teams, led by five-time champion Allison Adams. Adams has won the previous five titles with Grace Yatawara, now a freshman at East Carolina and not available to play this year.
Adams and her new partner, Carson High senior Micah Furr, shot a 77 on Sunday to take the top seed. Shooting an 80 qualifying score for the second seed was last year’s runner-up, Mechelle Kuld and Sharon Miller. The No. 3 seed is the team of Kristi Laton and Susan Morris.
The men’s senior division (55+) has two flights, a championship and an open one. Defending champions, John Henderlite and John Kyger, are the top seed this year. Craig Rae and Andre Resner are the No. 2 seed, shooting a solid 67 in qualifying.
There are also two flights in the men’s super senior division (65+). In the championship flight, defending champs David Roueche and Steve Vail are the top-seeded team. Gus Andrews and Jim Goodman shot a 70 in qualifying for the No. 2 seed.
There are just four teams in the men’s super senior consolation flight, led by Bob Rusher and Jack Seybold, who posted a 75 in qualifying.
In addition to the men’s open championship flight’s 16 teams, there are nine flights of eight teams each.
The first flight has some prominent names in local golf, such as former Labor Day champions, Christopher McCoy and Frederick Corriher (1994), and Joey Boley and Richard Cobb (2011). The team of Keith Dorsett and Ryan Honeycutt is also strong, as Dorsett recently won the Horace Billings Rowan Amateur at Corbin Hills. Dorsett won the 2004 Labor Day title with Eric Mulkey.
Dorsett and Honeycutt missed the championship flight with a qualifying score of 72.
Also in the first flight is last year’s championship runner-up team, Drue Davis and Derek Lipe. A 73 in qualifying cost them a shot at returning to the championship flight.
Also just missing the championship flight were two teams that shot 71 in qualifying — Parker Chavis, a South Rowan senior, and his teammate, Patrick Street, a Carson High senior; and Roy Dixon, a former UNC Greensboro golfer, and his father, Glenn.
Country club head golf professional Chad Campbell, also the tournament director, said that spectator carts can be rented at the pro shop. During the event, cash and credit cards will be accepted for non-member purchases.
Beginning on Saturday morning, the grill room will be open for members, players, guests and family members for breakfast, starting at 7 a.m.
Campbell added that the club’s food and beverage team will also have a special lunch offering for those attending the Labor Day tournament.
See complete list of qualifying scores and seedings in Scoreboard on page 2B.