Golfer With Down Syndrome Inspires Defending Champion, Says, ‘We all can learn from her’

March 25, 2019 Updated: March 27, 2019

Coming across youngsters who are making big strides in academics or sports is  not uncommon these days. And if you’re looking for someone to inspire you, the achievements of Amy Bockerstette are just hard to ignore.

Bockerstette, who has Down syndrome, has never let it stand in the way of pursuing her dreams. She is the first person with the disorder to receive a college athletics scholarship. She also signed a letter of intent to play with Paradise Valley Community College, Arizona.

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A PGA video featuring Bockerstette went viral after she was spotted attending the practice round of Waste Management Phoenix Open. Defending champion Gary Woodland invited her to play with himself and Matt Kuchar on the par-3 16th tee at TPC Scottsdale on Jan. 29.

At the practice, it wasn’t Kuchar or Woodland but Bockerstette who stole the limelight. She hit a par, the required number of strokes a player needs to complete a hole without penalty.

The layout and stadium-like atmosphere of TPC Scottsdale’s signature 16th hole can be strenuous even for the pros. However, Bockerstette played with the kind of poise that showed she was happy with all the attention she received.

“I told her she was an inspiration to all of us and we can all learn from her,” Woodland said in a press conference according to

He further added: “She was dealt with some serious issues and she’s overcome them and she is phenomenal. She was so sweet, she was so excited and happy and that’s something that we can all learn from.”

Bockerstette had the support and encouragement of her dad throughout the game. When her tee shot landed in the bunker, she showed no signs of being discouraged.

According to, Woodland offered to take it out, but she was a confident woman who decided to get the ball out herself.

She said, “‘No, I’ve got this,’” he said. “She was right.” The cheers from the crowd grew even louder as she got the ball out to only a few feet from the hole.

Kuchar’s caddie, John Wood, couldn’t hide his admiration as he said: “Amy, that was awesome! Are you kidding me? That was fantastic!”

Gary Woodland surprises Special Olympics athlete Amy

"Amy … you’re our hero.”How a superstar named Amy teamed up with Gary Woodland to win the hearts of the 16th hole crowd at WM Phoenix Open.

PGA TOUR 发布于 2019年1月30日周三

The third shot sees her tap the ball into the hole as the cheers from fans grow even louder. A delighted Woodland threw his arms up in the air before giving her a hug. As the crowd gave her a standing ovation, Bockerstette waved at them and blew kisses.

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“I’ve been blessed to do lot of cool things on the golf course but that is by far the coolest thing I’ve ever experienced,” Woodland said.

He further added: “She was phenomenal. And then to step up in front of all the people and the crowd and everything and to hit the shots that she hit and made par, I never rooted so hard for somebody on a golf course and it was an emotional, emotional, really cool experience.”

PGA tour shared the video on Twitter, and it has racked up over 5 million views to date. Woodland admitted that it was the most viral video he’s ever been involved in.

For others, it might seem like a difficult feat accomplished, but the confident Amy “absolutely savored the moment.”

Her father told Golf Digest, “People asked me if Amy gets nervous. My answer is, ‘Amy doesn’t get nervous. She gets excited.’”

Bockerstette clearly believes in herself, and that’s why she has become an inspiration to so many. While most of us would buckle under the crowd’s eyes, she knows “everybody loves her.”