Local sports celebrities team up with Special Olympians to kick-off Open week

For many current and former members of professional teams around the Valley, Tuesday of Waste Management Phoenix Open week at the TPC Scottsdale is circled on their calendars.

It was the annual CBS Outdoor Special Olympics Open where some of the Valley’s favorite athletes and coaches teamed up with Special Olympians at the putting green at the TPC’s Stadium Course. In  attendance, current Diamondbacks J.J. Putz and A.J. Pollock and former D-Backs Randy Johnson and Mark Grace, former Suns Tom Chambers and Steven Hunter, Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians and kicker Jay Feely and current PGA golf pros Padrag Harrington and University of Arizona graduate Ricky Barnes.

“It’s very gratifying to be our here and be a part of this,” said future Hall-of-Famer Randy Johnson. “A lot of great people out here to help the cause. The Thunderbirds are terrific in what they do in donating money to local charities here.”

“I was teamed up with Tom Chambers and a gentleman named Steve (Neff) from Waste Management,” mentioned Special Olympian Jeffrey Steron. “That was a lot of fun. It is my fifth year competing in the putting contest and I really enjoy it.”

“They take it serious,” added former Suns great Tom Chambers. “They really do. They come up and tell me ‘I’ve been working on my game because you beat me last year so I’ve got to improve.’ They take it seriously and have a great time.”

The 10 celebrities teamed up with 10 special olympians as well as ten business leaders in the nine-hole putting challenge. In the end, the Thunderbirds presented a 55 thousand dollar check to the Special Olympics of Arizona.