Sports Overtime

Local Golfer Brings Home Special Olympics Gold

Sports Overtime

“Bryce is an exceptional young man, he’s overcome a lot in his life,” said Bryce’s grandfather Bennie Garrett. “There were a lot of things that were obstacles for him, but he’s an overcomer.”

Shortly after Bryce Garrett was born, doctors said he wouldn’t be able to walk or talk. But at 17 months old, Bryce was already walking. Overcoming obstacles would become a theme in his life.

“Just watching him grow, seeing the development and the passion he has, how he looks at life when we all stress over things we shouldn’t be stressing about. A lot of people need a little more Bryce in their life,” said his golfing partner Chris Collins.

Through the years Bryce has found an interest in many hobbies and activities, but golf has become his true passion.

“It’s amazing to see him play. The guys here at Holly Hills were amazed at how he could hit a golf ball and he’s not even looking at it. He just hits it,” said Bennie.

Out on the course, Bryce is just one of the guys.

“It’s built his self esteem, he’s comfortable playing and he socializing with the guys here at Holly Hills,” said Bennie. 

“They all treat him really well here, the camaraderie is just awesome,” said Cindy Garrett, Bryce’s grandmother. “And usually when we leave here he’ll tell me he loves all the guys, and I tell him they love you too.”

Bryce has forged a special bond with one golfer in particular. A few years ago Bryce began golfing with Chris Collins.

“I’ve seen Bryce hit some shots that other guys out here would have to hit three buckets of balls to hit. He plays just for the love of the game,” said Collins.

The duo have become close friends and recently competed in the Special Olympics Golf Tournament held at Troy.

“One of the shots he was about 30 yards out and I needed him to hit it under a limb. He needed to chip the ball and that should be a small swing. Well Bryce gave it a full swing, there was a lake behind the green and I thought that’s where the ball was going. It hit a limb, then the cart path and then rolled over a bank for a makeable putt. That’s just what happens with Bryce,” said Collins. “He looked right at me and said – That’s right!”

Thanks to shots like that, Bryce and Chris brought home the Special Olympics Gold Medal.

“We saw the grin on their face when they were coming back, and we didn’t expect to win,” said Cindy. “But Chris told him we can’t get second buddy we have to get first.”

They brought home the Gold, but Bryce is far from reaching his golf goals.

“Oh he hasn’t reached his pinnacle yet,” said Bennie with a smile. “There’s a national coming up next year that we’re looking forward to.”

Overcoming obstacles is nothing new for Bryce Garrett, and getting to Nationals is just another obstacle. In the meantime, he’ll keep golfing and modeling his game after his favorite golfer, Phil Mickelson.

And Bryce will continue to make our community a better place.

“Bryce, I love you man,” said Collins.

WKRG NEWS 5 - Sports Overtime - 02/10/2019
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