Cape Town – Gary Woodland could hardly contain his
delight after helping a young golfer with Down syndrome steal the show
ahead of the Phoenix Open.
Woodland teamed up with the Special Olympics and the PGA Tour during a
practice round to surprise Amy Bockerstette with a chance to play TPC
Scottsdale’s signature hole, the 16th.
Impressively, Bockerstette managed to par the hole and the resulting PGA-produced video has gone viral.
“That was by far the coolest thing I’ve ever experienced… I’ve
never rooted so hard for somebody on a golf course,” said Woodland
“It feels amazing,” Bockerstette told the Arizona Republic after
sinking an eight-foot putt to get up and down on the par-3 from the
Bockerstette is no stranger to special achievements, however – she
became the first person with Down syndrome to receive a college
athletics scholarship when she signed with Paradise Valley Community
College last year.
According to Amy’s father Joe she has been blessed with a strong competitive spirit.
“She’s a gamer,” he said. “She doesn’t get nervous; she gets excited.”
Joe described her shot into the 16th in a way only a father can.
“We knew a 120-yard shot was a sweet spot for her,” he said. “So we
gave her one of her top clubs… We had a good feeling that she’d hit a
good tee shot.”
When her shot found the bunker, Woodland offered to get it out for her but Amy had her own ideas.
“She said, ‘No, I’ve got this,'” he said. “She was right.”
Taking almost no time over the ball, Amy stepped up and pulled off an
impressive escape to eight feet before rolling in the putt as the crowd
“I’ve never rooted so hard for something,” Woodland said. “And it went in center cut. It looked good the whole time.”
“Amy … you’re our hero.”
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 30, 2019