The Tucson tournament will feature John Daly, winner of the recent Buick Invitational, and a host of other big names who are not quite having a top-64 year.
Included in the Chrysler field are Daly and other former major championship winners including Mark Calcavecchia, Steve Elkington, Tom Lehman and Mark Brooks, plus young Australian phenom Aaron Baddeley. Frank Lickliter II is back to defend his title. And other former winners entered are Andrew Magee, Jim Carter, Garrett Willis, Ian Leggatt, Gabriel Hjertstedt, Larry Mize and David Frost.
Because of Daly and his San Diego win, attendance could jump significantly, tournament director Judy McDermott told the Tucson Citizen newspaper. Daly moved from No. 299 to 85 in the rankings, not high enough to get into the Match Play. So the advantage is all Tucson's, where Daly is set to play at the Omni Tucson National Golf Resort & Spa.
'It's wonderful John won,' said McDermott, of the sponsoring Tucson Conquistadores. 'Our phone is ringing off the hook. I think it'll increase our gate about 25 percent.'
Daly said the Tucson event is one of 22 or 23 that he will play this year, a schedule that will not increase because of the San Diego victory. His family obligations require him to spend an increasing amount of time at home.
When you have four kids, it's tough, Daly said. I like the schedule I've done in the last few years. It's been consistent. Last year I played myself too hard, playing tournament after tournament after tournament, trying to find something, and I don't want to do that again.
Daly is 37 now, and most of his adult life has been filled with controversy.
Everybody goes through ups and downs in life, he said. Mine just happens to be talked about a lot, which I'm very open to it. Everyone goes through problems in life. It's how we deal with them, get through it.
Nonetheless, Daly comes into Tucson still on an emotional high. He has two major wins among his five PGA Tour victories, but he has played the tour since 1991. He doesnt feel like he has squandered his talent, however.
I don't feel like I'm an underachiever because I've won two majors, Daly remarked. I feel like I should have been in more positions to win. Whether it was like Memphis, I guess it was a couple of years ago, Bob Estes played great. I feel like I should have won that the way I was playing.
The problem with my career is I haven't been in those last three or four groups consistently like Tiger is, and Davis, and Vijay. They're consistently in the last groups, week in and week after. That's something I'm striving on this year.
One of my biggest goals this year was not to shoot over par in a round. Considering the circumstances, the golf course played very difficult and I shot 75 in my round and I still won. I'm not counting that.
Daly continued his stellar play carding rounds of 68-64-72-67 to finish alone in fourth place in last weeks Nissan Open.