First Look: John Deere Classic
July 04, 2014
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM
- In the 2013 John Deere Classic, Jordan Spieth became the first teenager to win on TOUR since 1911. (Michael Cohen/Getty Images)
• COURSE: TPC Deere Run, 7,268 yards, par 71. Built on the site of a long-ago tribal village and Arabian horse farm, D.A. Weibring’s 1999 design makes skilled use of rolling woodlands alongside the Rock River. Dramatic elevation changes frame several holes, notably the downhill 14th that measures 358 yards but can be drivable in the right conditions. Typically a place that yields low scores, Deere Run carved a place in the history books four years ago when Paul Goydos carded just the fourth 59 recorded on the PGA TOUR. Eventual winner Steve Stricker shot 60 that day.
• FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 points.
• CHARITY: Some 500 Quad Cities organizations receive allocations from the John Deere Classic’s “Badges for Charity” program, which raised $6.32 million during last year’s edition. The tournament annually ranks No.1 in charity donations per capita on the PGA TOUR.
• FIELD WATCH: Defending champion Jordan Spieth and Steve Stricker, a three-time John Deere winner, top a lineup with three of the current top 20 in the world rankings. Zach Johnson, champion in 2012, is the third member of the trio. … Johnson and Chris Kirk, No .7 in FedExCup points, are among 10 of this season’s PGA TOUR winners to commit to Deere Run. … David Duval, the 2001 Open Championship winner, makes his eight start of 2014 as he prepares for his past-champion entry at Royal Liverpool. … Reigning NCAA champion Cameron Wilson is in on a sponsor exemption, as are fellow college standouts Bobby Wyatt (Alabama) and Jordan Niebrugge (Oklahoma State).
• 72-HOLE RECORD: 258, Steve Stricker (2010).
• 18-HOLE RECORD: 59, Paul Goydos (1st round, 2010).
• LAST YEAR: Speith became the PGA TOUR’s first teenage winner since 1911, holing out from a greenside bunker to end regulation and denying Johnson back-to-back Deere titles in a playoff that went five holes and also featured David Hearn. Spieth finally ended it on the fourth play at No. 18, when he was the only man to find the green after driving into tree trouble. The 19-year-old Texan became the first teen to win a PGA TOUR event since Johnny McDermott captured the 1911 U.S. Open. Spieth, who left the University of Texas midyear, arrived at Deere Run on special temporary status following a pair of top-10 finishes in March. Victory elevated him to full membership.
• STORYLINES: Johnson, a Cedar Rapids native, has finished outside the top three just once in his past five visits and holds a current string of 20 consecutive rounds in the 60s at Deere Run. He also was runner-up in 2009 and shared third in 2011. … Despite recent top-5 finishes at the Masters and THE PLAYERS, Spieth remains in quest of his first win since last year’s breakthrough. He’s currently No.6 in the FedExCup points race. … Stricker tries again to become the tournament’s first four-time winner. His run from 2009-11 remains the last time anyone has won a PGA TOUR event in three consecutive years. … The final British Open berth next week awaits the highest top-5 finisher who hasn’t already punched his ticket to Royal Liverpool.
• SHORT CHIPS: A total of 19 entrants at Deere Run already have qualified for next week’s British Open lineup. A charter flight awaits them Sunday night, provided by Deere Classic officials each year to fly them across the Atlantic. … Stricker is one of just five men to win the John Deere Classic more than once in its 43-year existence. Weibring also captured three titles, with two each by Deane Beman, Scott Hoch and David Frost. … The field boasts four former University of Illinois standouts – Stricker, D.A. Points, Scott Langley and Luke Guthrie. Friday traditionally is designated as Illini Day at Deere Run.
• TELEVISION: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:30 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS).
• RADIO: Thursday-Sunday, noon-6 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.COM).