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Huge fan Niall Horan tees off with 'inspirational' American golfer with Down's syndrome

The pop singer told Amy that ISPS Handa would sponsor her and her family to come to the golf tournament

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Niall invites Amy over to play with him

Niall invites Amy over to play with him

Niall invites Amy over to play with him

Niall Horan has warmed hearts of golf fans around the world by teeing off the ISPS Handa World Invitational in Northern Ireland with a young American golfer with Down's syndrome, who he has called “an inspiration". 

The former One Direction star invited Amy Bockerstette (22), the first person with Down's syndrome to receive an athletic scholarship to attend college, to kick off the golf tournament in Galgorm Castle, Co Antrim, by taking the opening tee shot.

The pop singer told the Indiana golfer that ISPS Handa would sponsor her and her family to come to the golf tournament where she would be honoured by taking the opening tee shot.

A number of celebrities had gathered at Galgorm Castle and Massereene where Amy finally got to meet the international music star, who is also a keen golfer.

In front of an excited crowd, the 22-year-old used a driver off the first tee for which she received many congratulations and a fist-bump from Horan himself.

Niall had surprised Amy who is a huge fan of the singer in a video call where he invited her over.

In a heart-warming video posted to Twitter, which has over half a million views, Niall called a shocked and excited Amy an “inspiration” and praised her for “breaking down barriers” in the game of golf.

Speaking to Amy on the video call, Niall said: “Amy! Oh my God, we finally get to meet how are you? I'm so happy to be here with you, we've been trying to get this together for so long.”

As Amy covered her mouth in surprise, Niall continued: “We've been following your story for so long. We love you, you're so good for the game.

“And you're exactly what ISPS Handa is all about, breaking down barriers in the game. You are a real big inspiration to everyone. I was blown away by you.”

He then asked to see her phone case, which Amy held up to the camera revealing a picture of the heartthrob decorating her phone.

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Niall revealed that he too was a big fan of hers and had been following her story since 2019 when he saw her play with American professional golfer Gary Woodland.

At the time, Niall re-tweeted the viral video of Amy when she made a par on the 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale on the PGA Tour, writing: “This is beautiful!!”

An excited Amy replied to his tweet, writing: “How cool is this! Thank you @NiallOfficial I'm your big fan! Will you play golf with me sometime?'

Niall responded, saying: “Amyyyyy!! I'm your biggest fan. For sure let's play golf. You are an inspiration.”

Referencing their 2019 Twitter exchange, Niall continued: "By the way, you know we were talking about playing golf together?

“Well next week Modest! Golf, and ISPS HANDA have a tournament in Ireland called the ISPS HANDA World Invitational, and it’s full of your favourite LPGA – so all of your favourite LPGA [Ladies Professional Golf Association] stars are going to be there, European Tour players, Brendan [Lawlor]’s playing, and guess what?

“I would like, and ISPS Handa would like, to bring you, your mum and your dad to pay for your flights and come over to the tournament. How about that?

“And another one, because you are such an inspiration, we really want you, because you embody everything that ISPS Handa embody in breaking down barriers in the game, we want you to hit the opening tee shot to kick the tournament off for the week.

“And guess what? Me and you are going to play a few holes together as well.”

The pair later met in person, as Niall fulfilled his promise to the young golfer by playing a round of golf together.

In an Instagram post labelled with the date, July 27, Amy posted a picture of herself meeting the star, writing: “BEST. NIGHT. EVER. I [love] making new friends!

“Thanks for an amazing evening @ISPS_Handa @ModestGolfOfficial @World_Inv_Golf @MarkMac14 and a huge THANK YOU to the one and only @NiallHoran #LittleGirlsBIGDreams'"

The two took to the course the next day where Amy received a big cheer from the crowd and a fist-bump from the singer himself.

Amy took to Instagram later to write about her “new best friend”, saying: “A dream come true! Such an amazing day at the @ISPS_Handa @World_Inv_Golf ProAm.

“I played today with my new best friend @NiallHoran ‼️WOW‼️ It was the best time ever! And the fans cheered for me, too! How [cool] is that? I [love] it!”

Back in May, Amy made history by becoming the first golfer with Down syndrome to compete in a college championship. She represented Paradise Valley Community College at the NJCAA Women's Golf Championship.

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