Golf News for Tuesday, July 2, 2013 | Tournaments

John Deere Classic commitments include 50 of top-100 PGA pros

SILVIS, Ill. -- Fifty players currently ranked among the top 100 in the PGA TOUR's FedEx Cup standings and 40 contestants in the U.S. Open earlier this month have committed to play at the John Deere Classic, July 8-14, at TPC Deere Run.

Thirty tournament winners over the last two years - including last Sunday's champion, Ken Duke, and seven other 2013 winners - also are in the field, headed by defending John Deere Classic champion Zach Johnson and previous three-time consecutive winner Steve Stricker. Davis Love III, a career 20-time tournament winner and last year's Ryder Cup captain, also has committed to play.

In addition, 21 players competing in this year's British Open at Muirfield have committed, and tournament officials say that number is destined to increase once players formalize verbal commitments already made. All 21-plus have reserved spots on the John Deere Classic charter to Scotland.

"This year's John Deere Classic field is filling with players who through their on-course performance this season have proven themselves to be among the very best in the world," said John Deere Classic tournament director Clair Peterson. "The FedEx Cup point rankings are the most current and relevant statistics available for quantifying who's playing the best. Based on that, I'm predicting another highly competitive and very exciting tournament this year."

Nine players among the top 50 in the Official World Golf Rankings currently are in the John Deere Classic field, including the recent addition of No. 24-ranked Peter Hanson of Sweden. Hanson might be remembered for holding the 54-hole lead at the 2012 Masters.

John Deere Classic commitments not previously announced also include last Sunday's PGA TOUR runner up Chris Stroud, who lost to Duke in a sudden death playoff.

Other top-ranked FedEx Cup players whose commitments have not been announced include: Jimmy Walker (22), Chris Kirk (24), Scott Stallings (25), Brian Gay (31), Charley Hoffman (36), David Lingmerth (38), Brendon de Jonge (43), Freddie Jacobson (44), John Rollins (45), Kevin Chappell (51), Kyle Stanley (52), Cameron Tringale (56) and Puerto Rican Open winner Scott Brown (60).

Among previously announced FedEx Cup points leaders are Kevin Streelman (7), Boo Weekley (8), D.A. Points (14), Charles Howell III (15), thee-time champion Steve Stricker (18), Sang-Moon Bae (25), Derek Ernst (54), Nick Watney (58), Luke Guthrie (59) and Zach Johnson (65).

U.S. Open contestants in the Deere field include Bae, Chad Campbell, Guthrie, Hanson, Zach Johnson, Jerry Kelly, Scott Langley of Illinois, Lingmerth, OWGR No. 10 Louis Oosthuizen and young sponsor exemption Jordan Spieth.

New Deere commitments among those playing in the British Open are Bud Cauley, Hanson and Brown. Previously announced British Open-exempt contestants playing the John Deere are Watney, Van Pelt, Oosthuizen, 2006 John Deere Classic champion John Senden, Carl Pettersson, 2012 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year John Huh and former British Open champions John Daly, David Duval and Todd Hamilton, of Oquawka, Ill. Former Illini Guthrie, England's Brian Davis and Sweden's Robert Karlsson are British Open contestants also playing the Deere.

"The fact that we can offer our contestants a direct flight to the British Open helps our field immensely," Peterson said. "This will be the sixth consecutive year we have offered the charter, and it has been a true success."

This year, a field of 156 players will contend for a purse of $4.6 million with the winner receiving $828,000.

Tickets for the John Deere Classic are available at www.johndeereclassic.com or by calling 309-762-4653.

The PGA TOUR began its run in the Quad Cities in 1971. John Deere, whose world headquarters is in Moline, Ill., assumed title sponsorship of the event in 1998. The tournament moved to TPC Deere Run in 2000.

Now in its 43rd year, the tournament helped raise $6.79 million for 493 charities in 2012, ranking it first on the PGA TOUR overall in per capita contributions at $18.11 for each of the 375,000 residents of the Quad City area. It is among the top five in overall charity donations on the PGA TOUR.

The John Deere Classic, which includes Birdies for Charity, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in the John Deere Classic tournament offices at 15623 Coaltown Road, East Moline, Illinois. Since its founding in 1971, the tournament has helped raise $49.08 million for charity.

Contact:
Barry Cronin
Cronin Communications, Inc.
847-698-1801 (o)
847-867-3032 (m)
bcronin@cronincommunications.com