The Thunderbirds, the civic organization that runs the Fry’s Electronics Open, gave out the first of eight exemptions to the tournament on Wednesday to veteran John Daly.
It marked the second straight time Daly had received the first exemption into a PGA Tour event run by the Thunderbirds, as he also received the first “free pass’’ in January to play in the FBR Open, where he missed the cut.
“I talked with John last night, and he’s excited about coming here and playing in our brand-new event,’’ said tournament chairman Greg Hoyt of the Thunderbirds. The Fry’s Electronics Open takes place Oct. 18-21 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale.
Besides Daly, who is a fan favorite at the FBR Open and a two-time major champion, Hoyt also announced two other Tour veterans had signed on with the Fry’s Electronics Open, which is part of the PGA Tour’s new Fall Series. They are Davis Love III and Mike Weir, who have also won major titles.
The announcements came as part of the program for the Fry’s Electronics Open Media Day, which took place at Grayhawk. Joining Hoyt was FBR Open champ Aaron Baddeley, who announced that while he has yet to sign up for the event officially with the PGA Tour, he plans to play here next month.
“Living here (in Scottsdale), it’s right in my backyard, so I’m committed to it,’’ said Baddeley, who last week finished sixth in the inaugural FedEx Cup.
Baddeley is among a group of local players who have decided to support the Fry’s Electronics Open, which will be held in the East Valley only this one time before it moves to a site in California next year.
Others with local ties who have already committed include such notables as Tom Lehman, Arron Oberholser, Mark Calcavecchia, Billy Mayfair and Kirk Triplett. Phil Mickelson, who lists Grayhawk as his home course on his golf bag, also has said he plans to play in the tournament.