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Local golf: Rowan Masters field trimmed to 4 as Lyerly will try to repeat as champion

Staff report

CHINA GROVE — Two days, three rounds, and now four contenders.

Lots of birdies, a few eagles, and not a lot of bogeys. It’s been a high-level tournament held at Warrior.

As expected, two-time defending champion Nick Lyerly is a Rowan Masters semifinalist, but he still has his work cut out if he’s going to three-peat.

Fifth-seeded Hank Robins, sixth-seeded William Little and 10th-seeded Richard Cobb are a formidable group of survivors.

Little was half of the winning team at the prestigious Labor Day Four-Ball held at the Country Club of Salisbury last September. He and partner Derel Lipe also won the recent Grady B. McCanless Four-Ball.

Cobb is a veteran who has been an elite golfer in the county for a long time. He has three Labor Day titles to his credit.

Robins, a recent Salisbury High standout, is a member of the golf team at Lenoir-Rhyne.

Lyerly, who came into the tournament off a runner-up finish in the North Carolina Amateur, won his three matches with relative ease. The closest was 4 and 3.

Robins weathered  a challenging 1-up quarterfinal against Joel Basalaine, one of the talented Ugandan golfers, a group that has been a major factor in local golf since coming to Livingstone to study.

Lyerly will take on Robins in one of the Sunday morning semifinals.

Cobb has had a difficult path to the semis, including a first-round match against Lipe that went an extra hole. Cobb topped another of the Ugandans, second-seeded qualifying medalist Ronald Otile, in the quarterfinals.

The long-hitting Little topped veteran Kevin Lentz, a No. 30 seed, in a 3 and 2 quarterfinal.

Cobb will square off with Little Sunday morning.

The championship match will take place at approximately 12:30 p.m.

 Rowan Masters

First round results, Friday

(1) Lyerly d. (32) Owkong, 5 and 4

(16) Shoaf d. (17) Braude, 4 and 2

(25) Mills d. (8) Burkhart, 3 and 2

(24) Benfield d. (9) Morgan, 2-up

(4) Fagg d. (29) Fowler, 1-up

(20) Baselaine d. (13) Girard, 5 and 4

(5) Robins d. (28) Jakisa, 3 and 2

(12) Hurd d. (21) Baguma, 21 holes

(2) Otile d. (31) Shackleford, 7 and 6

(15) Kramer d. (18) Hill, 6 and 5

(7) Jones d. (26) Mattila, 3 and 2

(10) Cobb d. (23) Lipe, 19 holes

(30) Lentz d. (3) Edwards, default

(14) Perrino d. (19) Debri, 1-up

(6) Little d. (27) Merrell, 3 and 2

(11) Tucker d. (22) Johns, 3 and 2

Second round results, Saturday

(1) Lyerly d. (16) Shoaf, 7 and 6

(24) Benfield d. Mills, 4 and 2

(20) Baselaine d. (4) Fagg, 6 and 4

(5) Robins d. (12) Hurd, 5 and 4

(2) Otile d. (15) Kramer, 3 and 2

(10) Cobb d. Jones, 3 and 2

(30) Lentz d. (14) Perrino, 1-up

(6) Little d. (11) Tucker, 6 and 5

Quarterfinal results, Saturday

(1) Lyerly d. (24) Benfield, 4 and 3

(5) Robins d. (20) Baselaine, 1-up

(10) Cobb d. (2) Otile, 4 and 3

(6) Little d. (30 Lentz, 3 and 2

Semifinals, Sunday, 8 a.m.

(1) Lyerly vs. (5) Robins

(10) Cobb vs. (6) Little

Championship, Sunday, 12:32 p.m.

Semifinal winners

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