SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Arizona’s most coveted professional golf tournament is back in the Valley and it’s attracting athletes of all sports to its greens.
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley and former Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians participated in the Waste Management Phoenix Open San Tan Ford Special Olympics Putting Contest Tuesday morning, where Arizona sports figures teamed up with local businesses and a Special Olympics athlete on TPC Scottsdale’s putting green.
For Bradley, the event was an important reminder to keep life in context.
“It’s a great way to put things in perspective,” he said. “To know that you can come out here because of a name or a sport you play, it genuinely can change how someone feels.
“You hear athletes say it all the time, but we have a great platform. We have a great opportunity to impact people, way beyond baseball. You want to take advantage of that and you want to do it to the best of your ability.”
The freshly retired Arians was all smiles during the event, where he signed autographs for fans and took photos with children before taking his place on the green.
“This is the hardest part about golf,” he said with a laugh. “The greens are like lightning!”
But for Arians, who is a long-time participant in the event, the best part by far is spending time with the athletes.
“To watch these kids compete, it touches me every year,” he said. “To be able to team up with the Thunderbirds, I mean they’re the best fundraising organization I’ve ever seen, and to help the cause with the children – it means the world to me.
“I’ve gotten to know all the kids so well. They’re my friends now.”
Arians and Bradley will be back at the Phoenix Open, as they are both slated to play in the Annexus Pro-Am on Wednesday. The Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald and Patrick Peterson, along with Patrick Corbin of the Diamondbacks, have also committed to the event.