Larry Fitzgerald plays in the Waste Management Pro-Am every year, and for the past few, the media has stalked him from hole to hole, anxious to know about his football future.
It was a different feel on Wednesday, because the Cardinals' wide receiver had already announced his intention to return for 2020. Even though he will turn 37 before the season, Fitzgerald explained why he made the quick announcement to return.
"Anybody would love playing for Kliff," Fitzgerald said. "He's such a cool cat, man. My position coaches, David Raih and Jerry Sullivan, they make coming to work every day a lot of fun. It was a pretty easy decision."
Fitzgerald then illustrated his friendship with Raih, taking a playful jab at his shoe apparel.
"I'm just happy we got his Jordan game together," Fitzgerald said. "He was wearing all those fake Jordans, and it was tough to see."
Other tidbits from the Pro-Am:
- Patrick Peterson was the other Cardinals player in the field. Before entering the famed 16th hole, the star cornerback donned a Pat Tillman jersey. "Pat is just a hometown hero," Peterson said. "It was very tragic, the way he passed and left us way too early. It kind of reminded me of Kobe. He's just a great inspiration, not only to the Arizona Cardinals organization, but to the community as well. I wanted to come out here today and represent him, and show we need to have that grit and that relentless effort that he played with on Sundays to help us be one of those two last teams standing."
- Peterson addressed the overall stability of the organization after mass changes the past three offseasons. "It can be great for us," Peterson said. "This is our first time not chasing our tails and trying to find a coach, trying to find a quarterback, a defensive system that works for us. Now everything is in place. Now it's time for us as players to go out there and execute the game plan. I feel the last four games of the season we really started to hit our stride. We're so young, and now guys understand how to win, how to prepare. I really, really believe the sky can be the limit for us."
- Wide receiver Christian Kirk, a Scottsdale native who attended Saguaro High School, attended the Pro-Am as a fan. He arrived with Gino Littles, a former basketball player at Scottsdale Desert Mountain High School and Northern Arizona. They caught up with Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen, who attended Desert Mountain with Littles.
- Fitzgerald has been trying to get Kirk on the links for a long time, but "he won't pick up a club." Kirk said that maybe one day he will play in the Pro-Am, which would be music to Fitzgerald's ears. "I hear about it every day," Kirk said. "And I hear how I'm lacking in that aspect of my life. Hopefully we'll get on the course soon and I'll get some lessons and be able to golf with him."