Local golf: Lyerly rolls into Rowan Amateur semifinals with Mulkey, Dorsett, Little

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 18, 2021

Staff report

SALISBURY — Defending champion Nick Lyerly has cruised into today’s semifinals of the Horace Billings Rowan County Amateur.

Lyerly topped 32nd-seeded Brian Sutton 5 and 4 in the first round. He beat 17th-seeded Ryan Burke 7 and 6 in the Round of 16 and handled ninth-seeded Ross Brown 5 and 4 in the quarterfinals.

Lyerly is a four-time champ in the annual event held at Corbin Hills, his home course. The tournament began in 1979.

Lyerly won his first Rowan Amateur title in 2015 when he was only 16 and has won each of the last three years.

Lyerly’s opposition in the semis will be fourth-seeded Eric Mulkey, Lyerly’s partner in last year’s Labor Day Four-Ball tournament.

Lyerly and Mulkey have plenty of history in this tournament. They squared off in the finals in 2014 and 2015.

Mulkey made a 12-footer on No. 17 to close out Lyerly in 2014 for his first (and only) victory in the event.

In a tight match in 2015, Mulkey missed an opportunity to win a hole with a 4-foot putt, and Lyerly was able to hold him off.

The other semifinal will pit seventh-seeded Keith Dorsett against third-seeded William Little.

Dorsett is also a four-time Rowan Amateur champ, winning in 2007, 2012, 2016 and 2017. He beat Lyerly in the final in 2017.

Little teamed with Derek Lipe to win the 2020 Labor Day Four-Ball championship and was a semifinalist in the recent Rowan Masters.

Little is an interesting story, as he was homeschooled growing up in Kannapolis and didn’t start playing golf until he was 17.

Lyerly is playing very well this summer. He won the Rowan Masters and was runner-up in the North Carolina Amateur. He qualified for the U.S. Amateur last week.