Whether you’re a golf fan or not, it’s hard not to admire Amy Bockerstette.
Bockerstette, who in 2018 became the first person with Down syndrome to receive a college athletic scholarship when she signed to play golf for Arizona’s Paradise Valley Community College, came to worldwide prominence in January after a video of her getting up and down for par on the par-3 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale while playing with eventual U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland before hundreds of fans in advance of the Waste Management Phoenix Open went viral.
The video, which was shown on TV programs such as ESPN’s SportsCenter and ABC’s Good Morning America, garnered millions of views on social media. And since becoming an instant celebrity, Bockerstette has continued to influence people as a golf ambassador.
In March she attended the LPGA Tour’s Bank of Hope Founders Cup in Phoenix, where she mingled with the pros and participated in multiple special events, including the launch of the tour’s “Drive On” brand campaign. She was nominated for a Webby Award for excellence on the internet, worked the red carpet at the ESPY Awards and played in the ESPY Celebrity Golf Classic.
After Woodland won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach in June, he appeared with Bockerstette on NBC’s Today. He acknowledged being inspired by Bockerstette and her signature saying – “I got this” – that the video popularized.
“She’s meant everything for me from a mental standpoint,” Woodland told the Associated Press. “The world needs more of her in it.”
Earlier this month, Bockerstette celebrated her 21st birthday and received messages from Woodland, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and several LPGA players.
Members of our LPGA Family share some birthday wishes for @USGA–@LPGAGirlsGolf member @AmyGolfsNDances ❤️@LPGACommish: “You’re somebody that inspires us, that moves us, & brought millions of fans to understand how special you are & how special this game is.” #DriveOn #IGotThis pic.twitter.com/W296NR0lGY
— #RaceToCMEGlobe (@LPGA) October 20, 2019
And it appears she plans to continue making a positive impact. Members of Bockerstette’s family have formed the nonprofit I Got This Foundation, though the family is not yet prepared to discuss plans for it.
And to cap a year she will most likely never forget, Bockerstette will be a grand marshal at the 2019 Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Parade in Glendale, Ariz., as part of the college football bowl game festivities on Dec. 28 along with WNBA player Diana Taurasi, U.S. women’s soccer World Cup winners Julie Ertz and Jessica McDonald, and U.S. Paralympic triathlon gold medalist Allysa Seely.
After playing with Bockerstette in Phoenix, Woodland said: “I’ve been blessed to do a 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 … really cool experience.
“She was dealt with some serious issues and she’s overcome them and she is phenomenal. … When things aren’t going our way we can definitely look back at her. And I told her she was a hero and to keep doing what she’s doing because we’re all going to be following her.”
Clearly, Bockerstette is heeding Woodland’s advice.
Amy Bockerstette’s signature saying, “I got this,” has become an inspirational rallying cry. Photo: Ross D. Franklin, AP
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