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See U.S. Open champ Gary Woodland's sweet moment with Special Olympics golfer

Gary Woodland drew inspiration for his U.S. Open victory from golfer Amy Bockerstette, who has Down syndrome, after the two shared a special moment in January.
/ Source: TODAY

Winning the U.S. Open on Sunday was the second unforgettable moment on a golf course this year for Gary Woodland.

Before he won his first major by holding off two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka at Pebble Beach, he had a moment with Special Olympics golfer Amy Bockerstette in January that warmed hearts around the golf world.

Gary Woodland's sweet moment with Special Olympics golfer
Gary Woodland won his first major tournament by capturing the U.S. Open title by three strokes Sunday, then shared the win with the Special Olympics golfer who has inspired him. Getty Images

Video of Woodland, 35, and Bockerstette playing the famous par-3 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale together ahead of the Waste Management Phoenix Open went viral thanks to Bockerstette's infectious enthusiasm and impressive golf skills.

The two shared a hug before playing the 16th, where Bockerstette, who has Down syndrome, recovered from hitting her tee shot into a bunker with a chip out of the sand to within 8 feet of the hole.

"Why don't you go ahead and make that?" Woodland told her about the putt for par.

"OK,'' she replied confidently. "I got this."

Bockerstette then knocked the putt dead center into the cup as the crowd in the grandstand around the green roared its approval.

"You are so awesome,'' Woodland told her. "You're an inspiration to us, all right? You're our hero."

After they were done playing for the day, Woodland marveled to reporters about the special moment.

"I've done a lot of stuff being the defending champ, but that was by far the coolest thing that I got asked to do and something I'll never forget," Woodland said. "I told her she was an inspiration to all of us and we can all learn from her.

"She was dealt with some serious issues and she's overcome them and she is phenomenal. She was so sweet, she was so excited and happy and that's something that we can all learn from. 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."

Bockerstette, whom reported has "I got this" printed on her golf balls, used her signature line to cheer on Woodland this weekend as he finished 13 under par to capture the U.S. Open by three strokes.

Once Woodland had savored the victory on the course with his family, he called Bockerstette on FaceTime in the press room to share the special win with her.

"You keep up the good work. Thank you for all the positive vibes,'' he told her.

Bockerstette's performance in Phoenix was no fluke, as she is an accomplished player who has signed a letter of intent to play for Paradise Valley Community College in Arizona after qualifying for the state high school golf tournament the last two years, according to The Arizona Republic.

She is the first person with Down syndrome to earn an athletic college scholarship, according to the Special Olympics.

It sounds like Bockerstette will now get to experience something few golfers ever do: playing a round with a U.S. Open champion.

"I look forward to seeing you soon,'' Woodland told her. "We're gonna play some golf."