While golfer Gary Woodland leads the pack during the 2019 U.S. Open Championship Tour on Saturday, June 15, viewers remember the viral moment back in January, in which the PGA star watched in astonishment as Amy Bockerstette struck par at The Waste Management Phoenix Open in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“There was a moment when Gary Woodland offered to take the ball out of the sand trap. She would have nothing of it,” said her father, Joe Bockerstette. Amy said to herself “I got this,” hit an eight-foot putt for par, and made it. The video of this incredible moment has now been viewed over 18 million times.
According to AZ Central, Bockerstette, a Paradise Valley Community College student, was the first collegiate golfer with down syndrome to receive an athletic scholarship in 2018, and when the 20-year-old golfer hit a 6-hybrid from 117 yards into its bunker, it was one of the most inspiring and emotional par shot viewers have ever seen on a professionals course.
Woodland told Golf Digest, “I’ve had a lot of good memories in my life, but that’s one I’ll never forget. 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. 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.”
“People with Down syndrome have value and they bring joy,” said Jenny Bockerstette, Amy’s mother. “The response that we’ve gotten from parents of people with disabilities has been very touching because I feel like we’re doing this for them, too.”
Despite her disability, Amy’s teaching pro Matt Acuff said nerves and a lack of confidence just aren’t a part of her DNA “She has dreamt and thought of and pictured in her mind and imagined that type of stage. So to be there in front of that huge crowd, which would make just about anybody else buckle, that was her element. I can hear her saying, ‘They love me, they’re here to see me. And I know how to do this. I’ve hit this shot a whole bunch of times.’ I know some of the guys struggling to make it out there can get a little nutty sometimes, a little head casey. They could learn some very valuable lessons from Amy as far as how not to do that.”