Golfer becomes the first person with down syndrome to compete in a national collegiate championship

When she became the first golfer with down syndrome to qualify for the Arizona state high school tournament in 2016, Amy Bockerstette knew that more firsts were in her future.

Since then, she became the first person with down syndrome to earn a college athletic scholarship, and now has made history yet again, becoming the first golfer to play in a national college championship.

Amy Bockerstette received a full ride to Phoenix’s Paradise Valley Community College in 2018, and now, as a 22-year-old, has just competed with her teammates at the NJCAA championships in Ormond Beach, Florida.

“I like meeting new friends at the tournaments, I have fun,” she said about why she loves the game.

While this is her first time playing in the championship, Amy is used to performing under pressure on a big stage.

In 2019, Bockerstette joined PGA pro Gary Woodland on the 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale, a par three that is often called the “loudest hole in golf” because of its rowdy, stadium-like atmosphere. Despite the pressure and the noise, Bockerstette hit a beautiful up and down for a par, leaving Woodland speechless. The tear-jerking moment was shared to Twitter by the PGA Tour, and the video has now reached over 6 million views.

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 told reporters that day. “She was phenomenal…. I never rooted so hard for somebody on a golf course and it was an emotional, emotional really cool experience.”

While golf is her passion, Bockersette loves to bowl, swim, and play sports like basketball, baseball, and soccer. During her barrier breaking golf career, she was given the chance to give a 20-minute keynote address at the National Down Syndrome Congress in 2019.

“My superpower is confidence and believing in myself,” she said. “With your superpower, you can create your own purpose.”