'I've got this': The inspirational words that helped Gary Woodland win the U.S. Open

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — The video went viral the moment it hit the web earlier this year: a young golfer with Down syndrome joining Gary Woodland — not yet U.S. Open winner Gary Woodland — for a triumphant hole at the 2019 Waste Management Open in Phoenix.

The girl’s name is Amy Bockerstette, and she has made two appearances in the Arizona state high school championships despite her challenges. Back in January, she met Woodland through the Special Olympics, and the two connected immediately. Woodland invited her to join him for a hole during a practice round, and — hey, you know what? Just watch this. It’ll be the best three minutes of your day, guaranteed:

“I’ve got this,” Amy repeated, over and over, first hammering the ball off the tee, then out of a sand trap, and then into the cup. And all of this while playing in The Coliseum, the enclosed 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale.

Seriously. Listen to Amy’s “they love me” when she realizes that the pros and the fans are welcoming her to the hole. Listen to the cheers as she tees off, and the roars when she sinks the putt. That’s just the best.

I’ve got this. I’ve got this. It’s a wonderful mantra … and five months later, while he was working his way around Pebble Beach holding a lead in the U.S. Open, Woodland returned to it.

“Amy told me a million times when we were on this hole, I've got this, I've got this,” Woodland said Sunday night, “and I told myself that a million times today, ‘I've got this.’ ”

And just like Amy five months before, he did.

Life hasn’t been easy for Woodland. A 35-year-old journeyman — until Sunday, at least — in a sport that chews up dreams, he’s scrambled every year he’s been on Tour, winning only three times since turning pro in 2007.

Woodland and his wife Gabby also suffered the loss of one of their twins in 2017 while Gabby was pregnant. The couple is expecting again, twins again, and Woodland hopes to teach his son Jax and his future children to learn from Amy’s example.

“Amy's attitude is phenomenal,” he said. “Positive energy is contagious. And life's not always going to be bells and whistles. There are going to be bad things in your life, a lot of ups and downs, but the only thing you can control is your attitude. And if you do that, in the end, good things will happen.”

Amy watched as a very good thing happened for Woodland:

Woodland FaceTimed with Amy while standing beside the trophy, and her enthusiasm bubbled right through the phone:

“I used your positive energy,” Woodland said, leaning on the U.S. Open trophy. “You were awesome!”

“Thank you!” Amy replied.

“Thank you,” Woodland said.

Three simple words from an unexpected inspiration. Three simple words that won the U.S. Open.

“I’ve got this.”

13 PHOTOS
The 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach
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The 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach
Rickie Fowler hits out of the bunker on the sixth hole during the first round of the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament Thursday, June 13, 2019, in Pebble Beach, Calif. Fowler finished the round at 5-under par, 66.(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Gary Woodland hits out of the bunker on the ninth hole during the first round of the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament Thursday, June 13, 2019, in Pebble Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Justin Rose, of England, reacts to his bunker shot on the 18th hole during the first round of the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament Thursday, June 13, 2019, in Pebble Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/Matt York)
PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 13: Tiger Woods of the United States reacts to his second shot on the par 4, ninth hole during the first round of the 2019 U.S.Open at the Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 13, 2019 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 13: Phil Mickelson of the United States plays a shot from the tenth tee during the first round of the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 13, 2019 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 13: Dustin Johnson of the United States reacts to a putt on the 13th green during the first round of the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 13, 2019 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 13: Jordan Spieth of the United States plays a second shot on the ninth hole during the first round of the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 13, 2019 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Gary Woodland watches his tee shot on the first hole during the final round of the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament Sunday, June 16, 2019, in Pebble Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Brooks Koepka reacts after missing a birdie putt on the 18th hole during the final round of the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament Sunday, June 16, 2019, in Pebble Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Tiger Woods walks to the ninth green during the third round of the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament, Saturday, June 15, 2019, in Pebble Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 15: Tiger Woods of the United States plays a shot from the third tee during the third round of the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 15, 2019 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 16: Tiger Woods of the United States plays a second shot on the ninth hole during the final round of the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 16, 2019 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 14: Gary Woodland of the United States celebrates on the ninth green during the second round of the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 14, 2019 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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