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Top Players to Watch at the North Carolina Amateur

18-year-old Nicholas Lyerly of Salisbury is focused on a North Carolina Amateur repeat victory (USGA photo)

SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. (June 13, 2017) -- The top amateur golfers in North Carolina will compete for the state title at River Run Country Club in Davidson from Thursday, June 15th to Sunday, June 18th (7200 yards, par 36-36--72 Course/Slope Rating: 75.5/140). 153 players are scheduled to play in the 57th edition of the North Carolina Amateur Championship.

Related: Championship Website | Starting Times | History

In last year's championship held at Governors Club in Chapel Hill, Nicholas Lyerly of Salisbury became the youngest North Carolina Amateur champion in history. "Becoming the youngest to ever win the event was a huge accomplishment for me," said Lyerly, now 18-years-old. "Just winning it was a great accomplishment, especially with some of the names that are on the trophy, but becoming the youngest to ever win is something I’m very proud of and was probably my biggest accomplishment during my junior career." In the fall, Lyerly will begin his collegiate golf career at the University of North Carolina - Greensboro.

Lyerly enters the championship at River Run aware of the impact made by winning last year, "This year I will have a little more pressure since I am the defending champion and it will be fun to see how I am able to defend. Winning last year gives me the confidence that I can win again, and that’s the mindset I have coming in."

The two-time reigning North Carolina Junior Boys' Player of the Year is looking for his game to peak at the right time to win again. "Entering the championship I am mainly working on ball striking and consistency. I’ve had a slightly disappointing spring that I would like to improve on. I’ve had tournaments where I have played well but my ball striking has been a little too inconsistent and I would like to get that straightened out before Thursday. Other than that everything is where I want it and I have high hopes for the championship."

This is the ninth CGA championship hosted by River Run Country Club. Consistently ranked as one of the best golf courses in the Carolinas, River Run’s championship golf course has been home to some of the biggest tournaments in the Southeast, including the TOUR's Chiquita Classic. The North Carolina Amateur was last held at the club in 2000.

The average age of the field is 25-years-old. Exempt players were automatically accepted while others were required to qualify through one of six 18 hole qualifiers. There is a strong contingent of talented junior golfers competing. In addition to Lyerly, the top-ranked junior in N.C., both Matthew Sharpstene of Asheville and AJ Beechler of Pinehurst - ranked 2nd and 3rd - are in the field as well as 2016 N.C. Junior Boys' champion Grant Powell of Colfax.  

Top-ranked players to watch

Medalist(s) Score Site
Patrick Schweitz,
69 (-2) Timberlake GC
Joey Funderburg,
Tripp Summerlin,
Ujang Zarems,
71 (-1) North Shore CC
Sneads Ferry

Seth Lomison,
Hardin Councill,
High Point 
Scott Freeman,
Willow Spring

69 (-3) Oak Hollow GC
High Point
Davis Richards,
China Grove
67 (-4) The Club at Irish Creek
Gray Matthews,
69 (-3) Brier Creek CC

Thomas Messenheimer,

67 (-5) Mimosa Hills G&CC
  • Justin Tereshko, 27, of Greensboro has finished runner-up in this championship the past two years. The 5th ranked amateur golfer in N.C., Tereshko placed third individually at the 2016 USGA Men's State Team.

  • Greg Earnhardt, 48, of Greensboro won the 2015 & 2016 North Carolina Mid-Amateur. Earnhardt is ranked 9th in N.C.

  • Kevin O'Connell, 28, finished in the top 20 at both last year's North Carolina Amateur and Carolinas Amateur. Ranked 10th in N.C., O'Connell qualified for match play at the 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.

  • Joseph Cansler, 22, placed T8 last year. The 15th ranked player in N.C., Cansler was runner-up at the 2016 Cardinal Amateur. Cansler is a rising senior at University of North Carolina - Greensboro.

  • David Gies, II, 27, placed T18 at the 2016 North Carolina Amateur. Ranked 18th in N.C., Gies advanced to match play at the 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur.

The championship is conducted at 72 holes of stroke play. After 36 holes, there will be a cut to the low 60 scores and ties. Entry is open to any male amateur golfer who has reached his 13th birthday by the first day of the championship, is a legal resident of North Carolina, is a member in good standing of a club which is a member of the Carolinas Golf Association (CGA) and has an active GHIN USGA Handicap Index at a CGA member club that does not exceed 7.4.

Scoring will be provided by the CGA throughout the championship, offering 9 and 18-hole updates. Live updates will also be available on the CGA’s official Twitter, @cgagolf1909. Continue to visit the CGA website throughout this championship and all year long for complete championship coverage including scores, interviews, photos, and recaps.

Past champions in the field
Nicholas Lyerly, Salisbury (2016)
Steven Brame, Henderson (2013)

Full field of players

Absher, Mark, Winston Salem, NC    Jones, Chris, Charlotte, NC 
Adams, Nicholas, Goldsboro, NC    Joy, Ike, Denver, NC 
Anfindsen, Seve, Apex, NC    Kraft, Christopher, Pinehurst, NC 
Bailey, Jackson, Matthews, NC    Lambert, Louis, Charlotte, NC 
Ball, Preston, Raleigh, NC    Lancaster, Austin, Charlotte, NC  
Bateman, Davis, Charlotte, NC    Latham, Matthew, Wrightsville Beach, NC 
Beasley, Jeff, Angier, NC    Lentz, Kevin, Rockwell, NC 
Beechler, Aj, Pinehurst, NC    Lilly, Thomas, Newton, NC 
Beecroft, Nickolaus, Bolivia, NC    Livonius, Justin, Charlotte, NC 
Blum, Christopher, Raleigh, NC    Lomison, Seth, Pfafftown, NC 
Bordeaux, Matthew, Davidson , NC    Lukes, Dylan, Chapel Hill, NC 
Brame, Steven, Henderson, NC    Lyerly, Nicholas, Salisbury, NC 
Brea, Jack, Charlotte, NC    Mader, Brandon, Greenville, NC 
Brewer, Stefan, Charlotte, NC    Major, John E, Winston-Salem, NC 
Bridgers, Andrew, Greenville, NC    Matthews, Gray, Raleigh, NC 
Brightwell, Jonathan, Mint Hill, NC    May, Charlie, Elon, NC 
Brown, Clay, Davidson, NC    Mcclelland, Jack, Pinehurst, NC 
Burris, Alex, Greensboro, NC    McCombs, Hunter, Morganton, NC 
Burton, Trey, Hickory, NC    McFadyen, John, Fayetteville, NC 
Calloway, Bradley, Asheboro, NC    McGlone, Jake, Charlotte, NC 
Cansler, Joseph, Clemmons, NC    McKelvey, Zach, Rutherfordton, NC 
Carroll, Stephen, Concord, NC    McLamb, Brett, Coats, NC 
Cashwell, Addison, Concord, NC    McNeely, Logan, Conover, NC 
Cassetta, Chris, Kernersville , NC    McShea, Blake, Zebulon, NC 
Cheek, Grayson, Wilkesboro, NC    Messenheimer, Thomas, Morganton, NC 
Childress, Michael, Salisbury, NC    Metz, Chandler, Wilkesboro, NC 
Clontz, Jared, Nebo, NC    Mills, Nolan IV, Charlotte, NC 
Colquitt, Bryan, High Point, NC    Moore, Dustin, Greensboro, NC 
Cook, Carter, Cornelius, NC    Moore, James, Kernersville, NC 
Councill, Hardin, High Point, NC    Neff, Jackson, Greensboro, NC 
Courtney, Timothy, Charlotte, NC    Neveu, Daniel, Pinehurst, NC 
Cover, Patrick, Huntersville, NC    Nichols, Josh, Kernersville, NC 
Crain, Andy, Chapel Hill, NC    Nieters, John, Clemmons, NC 
Davis, Brody, Harrisburg, NC    Niland, Charlie, Charlotte, NC 
Dawson, Brad, Mebane, NC    Northern, Austin, Blowing Rock, NC 
Deal, Thomas, Cornelius, NC    Nulty, Michael, Greensboro, NC 
Dean, Bobby, Charlotte, NC    O'Connell, Kevin, Cary, NC 
Driver, Timothy, Holly Springs, NC    O'Connor, Sean, Indian Trail, NC 
Duffie, Madison, Gastonia, NC    Overstreet, Jared, Durham, NC 
Earnhardt, Greg, Greensboro, NC    Page, Dallas, Staley, NC 
Eckard, Brady, Conover, NC    Park, Scott, Charlotte, NC 
Edmondson, Noah, Davidson, NC    Patnode, Scott, Belmont, NC 
Edwards, Eric, Salisbury, NC    Pechacek, Scott, Cary, NC 
Einstein, Brandon, Clemmons, NC    Perry, Seth, Valdese, NC 
Elmore, Mason, Charlotte, NC    Powell, Grant, Colfax, NC 
Emmons, Justin, Asheboro, NC    Richards, Davis, China Grove, NC 
Erikson, Scott, High Point, NC    Robbins, Lansdon, Davidson, NC 
Farber, Jonathan, Raleigh, NC    Rutter, Jacob K, Winston-Salem, NC 
Fiest, Blake, Huntersville, NC    Sargent, David, Cornelius, NC 
Fitzgerald, Paul, Charlotte, NC    Schweitz, Patrick, Clayton, NC 
Fountain, Peter, Raleigh, NC    Sharpstene, Matthew, Asheville, NC 
Freeman, Michael, Asheville, NC    Shuping, Logan, Salisbury, NC 
Freeman, Scott, Willow Spring, NC    Smith, Jordan, Summerfield, NC 
Frye, Chad, Davidson, NC    Spak, Matthew, Cary, NC 
Fuller, Stuart, Chapel Hill, NC    Sperrazza, Christopher, Raleigh, NC 
Funderburg, Joey, Wilmington, NC    Spires, Jackson, Fayetteville, NC 
Gammon, James, Eden, NC    Stephenson, Patrick, Four Oaks, NC 
Geiger, Philip, Davidson, NC    Stewart, Will, Charlotte, NC 
Gies, David II, Charlotte, NC    Stockwell, Joshua, West End, NC 
Giles, Attie, Pinehurst, NC    Summerlin, Tripp, Summerfield, NC 
Gillam, Parker, Cary, NC    Taylor, Blake, Atkinson, NC 
Golliday, Jake, Pinehurst, NC    Tereshko, Justin, Greensboro, NC 
Graham, Kell, Charlotte, NC    Thatch, John, New Bern, NC 
Griffin, Thomas, Gastonia, NC    Thomas, Aaron, Belmont, NC 
Grogan, Luke, Canton, NC    Towarnicky, Jack, New Bern, NC 
Gross, Tanner, Archdale, NC    Tucker, Paul, Waxhaw, NC 
Harrell, Logan, Huntersville, NC    Vogler, Jordan, Pilot Mountain, NC 
Harrill, Austin, Hickory, NC    Welborn, Daniel, Charlotte, NC 
Harwell, Steve, Mooresville, NC    White, David, Kinston, NC 
Heffner, Alex, Harrisburg , NC    Wicker, Michael, Rougemont, NC 
Hendrix, Bryce, Raleigh, NC    Wilson, Chase, Matthews, NC 
Hinnant, Peter, Winston-Salem, NC    Wimbrow, Max, Concord, NC 
Hodges, George IV, Charlotte, NC    Womack, Kevin, Burlington, NC 
Jackson, Daniel, Matthews, NC    York, Aaron, Durham, NC 
Jaspers, Joe, Huntersville, NC    Youden, Richard, Winston-Salem, NC 
Johnson, Tyler, Lenoir, NC    Zarems, Ujang, Wilmington, NC 
Johnson, William, Garland, NC     


Championship Schedule
Thursday, June 15             Round 1 - 18 holes of stroke play.
Friday, June 16                  Round 2 - 18 holes of stroke play.
                                           Cut to low 60 scores and ties.
                                           Field re-paired according to score.

Saturday, June 17              Round 3 - 18 holes of stroke play.

Sunday, June 18                Round 4 - 18 holes of stroke play.
                                           Awards ceremony immediately following play.


About the Carolinas Golf Association (CGA)

The CGA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational organization that was founded in 1909 to promote and to protect the game of golf in the Carolinas by providing competitions, education, support and benefits to golf clubs and golfers. The CGA is the second largest golf association in the country with over 700 member clubs represented by nearly 150,000 individuals.

The CGA annually conducts 48 championships and five team match competitions for men, women, juniors, and seniors. It also runs over 150 One-Day (net and gross) events as well as qualifying for USGA national championships. The CGA serves golf in the Carolinas with numerous programs such as: the USGA Handicap System; tournament management software and support; course measuring and course/slope ratings; agronomy consultation; answers about the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, and Handicapping; Carolinas Golf Magazine; Interclub series; Tarheel Youth Golf Association; Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame; expense assistance for USGA Junior and Girls' Junior qualifiers from the Carolinas; and the Carolinas Golf Foundation (CGF). The CGF has distributed nearly $2,000,000 since 1977 to benefit Carolinas' golf initiatives including junior and women's programs.    

For more information about the CGA, visit our website.



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