tee of the par 3 16th hole during the second round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament at TPC Scottsdale

(Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports)

Special Olympics Golfer Made Par in Front of Thousands Before PGA Tournament

"I've never rooted so hard for something," PGA pro Gary Woodland said

February 02, 2019 - 11:41 am
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The annual Waste Management Phoenix Open kicked off with a viral moment this week.  

Reigning champion Gary Woodland played the famous No. 16 par-3, which is surrounded by stadium seating and well-known as the most raucous hole in golf, with young Amy Bockerstette. She became the first person with Down syndrome to receive a college athletics scholarship when she signed with Paradise Valley Community College last year. 

And she made par! She nailed an eight-foot putt after making a great shot out of the sand with a few thousand people watching and cheering her on.

Woodland described it as "by far the coolest thing I've ever experienced. ... I've never rooted so hard for somebody on a golf course."

"I've never rooted so hard for something," Woodland said. "And it went in center cut. It looked good the whole time."

Jenny Bockerstette, Amy's mother, had a hard time describing her emotions.

"Overwhelmed," she said, just after the putt dropped. "Overwhelmed. It was so exciting. What an experience."