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North Carolina Amateur: Nicholas Lyerly takes two-stroke third day lead
Nicholas Lyerly hits a Saturday tee shot <br>(Carolinas Golf Association Photo)</br>
Nicholas Lyerly hits a Saturday tee shot
(Carolinas Golf Association Photo)
CHAPEL HILL, NC (June, 18, 2016) -- Saturday is called "moving day" during golf tournaments because it is the day where competitors try to set themselves up for the final push on Sunday. Only four players in the NC Amateur field would shoot under par Saturday to better their standing. One such player, 17-year-old Nicholas Lyerly of Salisbury, made six birdies to move his way up the leaderboard.

Lyerly's impressive four-under front nine was punctuated with a birdie on the par-3 ninth (pictured). His favorite club after Saturday's round could be the 8- iron. Using that club from 160-yards on No. 9 and on the 170-yard downhill par-3 14th led to birdies.

Starting his round Saturday tied for ninth, Lyerly's four-under 68 vaulted him into first place at 7-under 209 for the championship. The 2015 NC Junior Player of the Year, Lyerly has verbally committed to play golf at UNC-Greensboro starting in the fall of 2017.

Paired with Lyerly for Sunday's final round will be 36-hole leader Thomas Eldridge of Raleigh and Caleb Keck of Reidsville. Eldridge, 20, a rising junior at UNC- Wilmington, had a two-stroke edge on the field to begin his round. He quickly built on it, hitting a 105-yard gap wedge to four feet on his opening hole for birdie and making another birdie on the par-5 third hole to reach nine-under-par overall. Unfortunately for Eldridge, a chunked tee shot on his next tee shot landed in a pond, leading to double bogey. When he tee shot on the par-4 sixth hole found the left woods, Eldridge removed loose impediments from around his ball. In a great example of integrity, he called a one-stroke penalty on himself when his ball moved as a result. His two-over 74 on Saturday places him two strokes behind Lyerly. "I am going to try to make as many birdies as I can tomorrow," said Eldridge when asked about his approach for the final round.

Keck will also face a two-stroke deficit when he begins play Sunday. Like Lyerly, Keck has posted three rounds under par at Governors Club. "My approach shots have been the strength of my game," said the 22- year-old Keck. "I played them where I wanted them." Keck won a tournament when he played collegiately at Appalachian State University. He is looking forward to the opportunity to chase down a state championship. "To have not been in this position before in the state amateur, I am going to be excited and nervous."

Saturday's lead momentarily belonged to Justin Tereshko, 26, of Jamestown. Three birdies in his first seven holes catapulted last year's runner-up into first at 7-under. Three double bogeys on the inward nine erased his hard work, finishing with a 74. Tereshko, the golf coach at Guilford College located in Greensboro, N.C. sits at 2-under 214, five back of the lead.

Tereshko, the golf coach at Guilford College located in Greensboro, N.C. sits at 2-under 214, five back of the lead. Kevin O'Connell of Raleigh also got out to a quick start on Saturday, converting birdies on his first three holes. Posting three-under 33 on his front nine put the 27- year-old O'Connell at 5-under overall. However, an inward 41 took O'Connell out of contention for the lead. A third round 74 dropped him back to even par 216 and T-14.

The top amateur golfers in North Carolina will compete for the state title Sunday at Governors Club. Tee times begin at 8am from both the 1st and 10th tees, with the leaders beginning at 9:40. 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.


ROUND TWO RECAP

For the second round of the 56th North Carolina Amateur Championship players were relieved the weather had cooled off from yesterday, but were faced with a challenging breeze throughout the day creating a new obstacle they had to overcome.

After a second day of play, there has been change at the top of the leaderboard. Thomas Eldridge of Raleigh is now the sole leader of the championship with two rounds to go. He was able to put together another impressive round of 3-under-par, putting him at 7- under for the championship. When asked about his round Friday, he said the key to his success was “Not thinking about his position in the field, keeping the ball in play, and making some big par putts.” He went on to state that he feels “really good” about coming into tomorrow’s round as the sole leader and that he needs to “not change anything” as well as “keep making birdies.”

Eldridge’s co-leaders at the start of the round, Justin Tereshko of Jamestown and Bryce Hendrix of Greenville, were unable to keep their momentum going from the first round. Tereshko finished today at even par putting him in a four-way tie for fourth, while Hendrix shot three over par dropping him to a three- way tie for 17th with Philip Oweida of Charlotte and Uly Grisette of Winston-Salem.

Stephen Franken of Raleigh and Tim Conover of Holly Springs were able to post rounds in the red for the second day in a row, moving them into a tie for second place at 5-under. Franken was able to play consistent golf allowing him to have three birdies with one bogey per side to shoot 4-under on the day (34-34—68). Conover was able to make it around the course with 14 pars, three birdies, and one bogey to finish at 2-under for the day.

The round of the day came from the final group as Joseph Cansler of Clemmons shot a 5-under-par 67 in high gusty winds. He sits at 4-under par in a tie for 4th.

The championship format is 72 holes of stroke play. After 36 holes, the field is cut to the low 60 scorers and ties.


ROUND ONE RECAP

On this hot and humid day in mid-June, 145 players teed it up looking to capture the 56th North Carolina Amateur Championship. With temperatures reaching nearly 100 degrees, players had to battle the weather almost as much as the course.

With the completion of round one, 3 men stand atop the leaderboard tied at 4-under 68. Thomas Eldridge of Raleigh had a difficult start to the championship but caught fire on his second nine to finish tied for the lead. Eldridge started his day on the 10th tee and was even par after 8 holes before "shanking" his approach shot on 18 leading to double bogey. Heading into his second nine, Eldridge said "I was just trying to hit solid shots." He hit plenty of "solid shots" making 4 birdies and chipping in for eagle. Eldridge will look to carry the momentum from the end of his round into the second round.

Justin Tereshko of Jamestown was runner-up in the event last year and looks to capture the title this time around. After his round he felt his "ball striking was good, and had a lot of looks for birdie." This was evident by his scorecard that included 5 birdies and an eagle. Tereshko did say he needs to drive the ball better and that on two separate occasions, trees saved him from going out of bounds. Regardless, Tereshko looks to be in great shape moving forward in the championship.Bryce Hendrix of Greenville was firing on all cylinders for most of the day. His round included 7 birdies with three of them coming on par-5s. Hendrix just finished his freshman year at UNC-Greensboro and looks to continue his strong play throughout the next couple days.

Uly Grisette of Winston-Salem is tied with 4 other players who are only one shot back of the leaders. Grisette came out firing, shooting 6-under 30 on his opening nine holes that included 2 eagles and 2 birdies. In his own words, Grisette said "I got hot" but struggled on the back nine, shooting 3-over to finish at 3-under for the day. He was able to finish his round in style by birding the 18th. Grisette has been competing in the NC Amateur for many years and says "its great to come out here and compete against the young kids and see how far they are hitting it." Grisette won the championship in 1985 when he was 18 years old while competing in his first NC Amateur. Now 31 years later, he looks to continue his strong play and capture another.

Defending champion, Carter Jenkins is not in the field this week as he has turned professional and is currently playing on the Mackenzie Tour, formerly PGA Tour Canada.

The championship format is 72 holes of stroke play. After 36 holes, the field is cut to the low 60 scorers and ties. A tie for the overall championship is decided by an on-course playoff.

View results for North Carolina State Amateur Golf Championship

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