Upstate Amateur Golf

The GGO is back

By Jed Blackwell Associate Editor – Publisher, The Golf Club

Derrick Oyervides spent some time in the clubhouse at Greer Golf on Sunday afternoon talking about some of his near-misses in the Greater Greer Open through the years.

He won’t have to have that conversation again without talking about a win.

Oyervides fired a final-round 69 to take the championship at the 43rd edition of the tournament, shooting a two-day total of 139 to beat Sam Merrell by two strokes.

Oyervides started the day in a tie for fourth, and got off to a quick start with a birdie at the par-5 first. He birdied No. 7 for a two-under 34 on the front, and added another at 11 to get to 3-under on the day..

Derrick Oyervides shot a two day total of 139 to win the GGO by 2 shots. (GolfClub Photo)

He gave one back at 13, made back-to-back birdies on 14 and 15, and bogeyed 16 before a routine par at 17. His approach at 18 settled on the front of the green, and he made an easy two-putt par for the victory.

“Hitting a quality 6-iron on 15 was big,” he said. “I hit hybrid on the par-5 teeboxes, just to keep it in play,” he said. “I used my length to my advantage because I knew I could still get there. I stiffed that 6-iron, and it was really rewarding. I just tried to get home from there.”

His work on the greens helped make the difference for Oyervides, and he credited a recent change.

“I switched to a left-hand-low grip,” he said. “I changed about a month ago, and at first I didn’t trust it, but I stuck with it and from five or six feet it’s helped me keep the ball on line. I made a lot of putts. I made a huge putt on 11 that really kept me going. Trey (Bridwell, the first round leader) putted it off the green, and I was scared of it. I just tried to roll it up, and it went in. That was a huge momentum change.”

Oyervides said he’s happy to have won the tournament at Greer, where he has years of experience.

“I’m not a member for now, but I’ve been a member here for over 30 years,” he said. “I grew up here and played in the event a bunch. I dropped out about two years ago, we were building a house and the golf course was changing hands. I wasn’t playing enough golf to make a membership worth it. I got back into it a little bit these last few months. Work events got me back out playing.”

Those work events started the itch, and Oyervides got an understanding push from home to help him prepare for the tournament.

“We just had a baby,” he said with a smile. “A month old. I owe it all to my wife, she let me practice for a week straight. That helped me knock off a lot of rust. If I hadn’t been able to do that, I wouldn’t be here today. Those extra days definitely helped.”

Derrick Oyervides receives the championship plaque after winning the GGO from Greer Golf’s Head Pro and Manager Jim Young. (GolfClub Photo)

Oyervides said he’s happy to have a win, and happy the tournament, which hasn’t taken place for a couple of years, is back.

“I hope that people will see the quality and the investment that Greer has made into the golf course,” he said. “If I join anywhere, it’s going to be back here. It’s in beautiful shape. Kudos to Greer, and hopefully this thing will stay and in years to come there’ll be a waiting list.”

Scores from the Greater Greer Open

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