Also Wins for Most Engaged Community and Best Social Media Activation
The 2016 John Deere Classic was named the PGA TOUR’s 2016 Tournament of the Year on Wednesday (Dec. 7) at this year’s annual Tournament Meetings.
The 46th annual John Deere Classic also received first place awards for Most Engaged Community and Best Social Media Activation.
“The John Deere Classic is thrilled to have been honored as the 2016 PGA TOUR Tournament of the Year,” said John Deere Classic tournament director Clair Peterson. “The Tournament of the Year Award represents the great work of the John Deere Classic board of directors, staff, our 1,700 incredible volunteers, our 491 participating charities, and our steadfast and supportive title sponsor, John Deere, whose commitment to corporate citizenship is a core principle of the company.”
Andy Pazder, PGA TOUR chief tournaments and competitions officer, praised the John Deere Classic, which helped raise $10.54 million for charity and produced a champion, Ryan Moore, who had nine top 10 finishes and clinched the final point in the U.S. team’s victory over Europe in the Ryder Cup.
“On behalf of the PGA TOUR, I am pleased to congratulate the John Deere Classic for the special recognition it has received as the PGA TOUR Tournament of the Year,” said Pazder. “The tournament staff should be extremely proud of its hard work and for being recognized as the best tournament among its peers on the TOUR.”
Despite being played off its traditional dates and having to endure several major weather issues, this year’s John Deere Classic thrived. Its charity donation total of $10.54 million was a tournament record and was an incredible $1.8 million increase from the prior year. A Wednesday night concert by country music star Jake Owen contributed $500,000 to the charity’s bottom line.
The Quad Cities-based tournament now has raised a total of $81.3 million since its founding in 1971 with most of that coming since 1998 when John Deere signed on as title sponsor.
On the community side, the event’s volunteer base has grown nearly 30 percent over the last two years with a total of 1,700 volunteers contributing 22,000 hours in 2016. In addition, more than 750 boys and girls participated in the tournament’s annual Youth Day on Tuesday of tournament week.
From a social media standpoint, the John Deere Classic’s Facebook page generated more than 150,000 “Likes,” more than any other event page on the PGA TOUR last season. The 2016 event also had 38,000 combined followers on Twitter and Instagram, second-highest on TOUR.
The 2017 John Deere Classic will be held July 10-16 at TPC Deere Run.
ABOUT THE JOHN DEERE CLASSIC
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 tournament in 1998 and is committed through 2023. The tournament moved to TPC Deere Run in 2000.
In 2016, the tournament helped raise $10.54 million for 491 charities, ranking it first on the PGA TOUR in per capita contributions at $28.10 for each of the 375,000 residents of the Quad City area and among the top three overall in charity contributions 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 $81.3 million for charity.
ABOUT THE PGA TOUR
The PGA TOUR is the world’s premier membership organization for touring professional golfers, co-sanctioning more than 130 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, Web.com Tour, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR China.