WM Open week kicks off with annual Special Olympics event

All of the Waste Management Phoenix Open festivities are under way from the TPC Scottsdale and as always the week of events start with one of the most rewarding of them all. The Special Olympics Celebrity Putting Challenge.

Special Olympians competed before this week for the chance to pair with one of many business CEO’s and a celebrity athlete as well. In attendance was Channing Frye, Tom Chambers and a few Suns dancers from the Phoenix Suns. Derek Hall, Luis Gonzalez, Ian Kennedy, Willie Bloomquist, Paul Goldschmidt and Baxter of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Calais Campbell, Jay Feely and Lyle Sendlien of the Arizona Cardinals. Professional golfer and former Arizona Wildcat Rickey Barnes.

“It’s so cool to come out with these athletes and they care so much about what they do,” said Cardinals kicker Jay Feely. “They really show you what dedication is but also have a joy for the sport. So it’s an honor for all of us to be out here and be a part of.”

Each team consisted of one Athlete, one business leader and one Special Olympian. They competed in a nine hole putting challenge on the practice green as the TPC Scottsdale. The event itself raised $55,000 for Special Olympics Arizona.

“Anytime I can help give kids a sense of achievement and let them know their important to help build confidence and self-achievement, it’s really awesome,” said Suns forward Channing Frye. “This kids are really good and they deserve our attention.”

“It’s a lot of fun and this is my second year doing it,” added Diamondbacks starting pitcher Ian Kennedy. “It’s all about fun to come out here and spend time with these guys. They qualified to be able to get to this point and you can tell they are really good putters. I had a lot of fun.”

The week of fun continues on Wednesday with the celebrity pro-am before the official start of the tournament on Thursday.