Local golf: Lyerly close, but doesn’t advance to match play in U.S. Amateur

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 12, 2021

Staff report

OAKMONT. Pa. — Nick Lyerly missed the cut by two strokes as the U.S. Amateur field was trimmed from 312 to 64 on Wednesday.

Round of 64 match play began on Wednesday evening.

The tournament began with two rounds of stroke play on two courses near Pittsburgh.

Lyerly tackled Oakmont, the host for nine U.S. Opens and one of the nation’s toughest and most storied courses, in Monday’s first round.

That went well for him. On a day when an elite international field posted an average score of 77 at Oakmont, Lyerly shot 3-over 73. He made eight straight pars at one point. He made five bogeys in a seven-hole stretch , but he finished with birdies on the 17th and 18th holes.

Sixty golfers bettered par on Monday in the U.S. Amateur, but only two of those played Oakmont.

On Tuesday, playing the neighboring Longue Vue Club that is much shorter and less challenging than Oakmont, Lyerly needed to break par. He made three birdies and five bogeys and carded a 2-over 72.

While Lyerly was able to complete his Longue Vue round on Tuesday morning,  play was suspended by rain at both venues later in the day with many of the golfers still on the course.

Lyerly still had a chance to advance at that point, but as scores started to come in on Wednesday, he slid too far down the leaderboard.

The cutline to stay alive for the last berths for match play fell at 3-over. Lyerly was 5-over.

Lyerly also qualified for the U.S. Amateur in 2020 at Bandon Dunes in Oregon. A first-round 86 knocked Lyerly out of contention, although he bounced back on the second day to shoot 72.

Lyerly, an East Rowan graduate who plans to continue to play for UNC Greensboro as a graduate student, is 73rd in the World Amateur Rankings.