While temperatures cooled over the weekend after a hot and humid start to the 56th North Carolina Amateur Championship, competition heated up over the final two rounds of the event at the Governors Club in Chapel Hill.
Nicholas Lyerly, a rising high school senior from Salisbury, became the youngest North Carolina Amateur champion in history at 17 years, five months and seven days.
Lyerly, the 2015 North Carolina Junior Player of the Year, started Sunday’s final round with a two-stroke advantage over Thomas Eldridge. Eldridge, 20, a rising junior at UNC-Wilmington, would not apply much pressure on Lyerly, posting 73 on day four of the tournament to finish tied fifth.
Eldridge was sole leader of the championship with two rounds to go, but sat two strokes behind Lyerly after 54 holes.
Wilmington Christian product Blake Taylor was one shot off the pace after the opening round. Taylor carded a three-under-par 69 on Thursday, but fell on the leader board after hitting 75 in round two. He rebounded in round three as one of four players in the field to shoot under par on the day, with a two-under 70. The East Carolina signee hit a final round even-par 72 to close inside the top 10 in a three-way tie for eighth place.
Matthrew Latham of Wrightsville Beach ended the championship at tied for 25th. He was at two-under following a 70 on day one, with an even-par 72 in round two to keep him in contention heading into the weekend. A seven-over 79 on Saturday dropped Latham outside the top 20 before he posted a three-over 75 in the final round to finish at plus-eight.
David Donovan IV of Hampstead also carded his best score of the tournament during the final round of play with an even-par 72, while Parks Price of Calabash posted his low on day two, with a one-over 73.
After 36 holes, the field was cut to the low 60 scorers and ties as four of seven local golfers from the Wilmington area made the weekend cut. The top 30 finishers from this year’s championship are exempt into next year’s North Carolina Amateur at River Run in Davidson.
Listed below are scores for individuals from the Wilmington area, who competed at this year’s amateur championship.
Leaderboard Rd.1 Rd. 2 Rd. 3 Rd. 4 Total
No. 1 Nicholas Lyerly 70 71 68 71 280 (-8)
T-5 Thomas Eldridge 68 69 74 73 284 (-4)
T-8 Blake Taylor 69 75 70 72 286 (-2)
T-25 Matthew Latham 70 72 79 75 296 (+8)
T-30 David Donovan IV 75 76 74 72 297 (+9)
T-47 Parks Price 76 73 77 81 307 (+19)
David Kosytal II 75 77 missed cut
Joey Funderburg 77 75 missed cut
Austin Inman 78 87 missed cut