FORMER MASTERS CHAMP IMMELMAN HIGHLIGHTS LATEST GROUP OF JOHN DEERE CLASSIC COMMITMENTS
Former Masters champion Trevor Immelman will make his first appearance at the John Deere Classic next week, joining 11 other major championship winners who have committed to play in this year's event, July 8-14, at TPC Deere Run.
Immelman, who has been injury-plagued since his 2008 win at Augusta National, will be joined by several other players who recently committed - Stephen Ames, Jonas Blixt, Ryo Ishikawa, Marc Leishman, Ryan Moore and Camilo Villegas. Blixt of Sweden and Ishikawa of Japan also will be making their debuts at TPC Deere Run.
"The John Deere Classic is very happy to welcome Trevor Immelman, Jonas Blixt and Ryo Ishikawa to TPC Deere Run and to our community for the first time," said John Deere Classic tournament director Clair Peterson. "We also are pleased to welcome back Steven, Marc, Ryan and Camilo, all of whom have competed here before."
Both Moore and Villegas are qualified for the British Open at Muirfield, and have reserved seats on the John Deere Classic charter to Edinburgh.
Moore, who tied for eighth last year at the John Deere, currently is No. 44 on the Official World Golf Rankings. He has had a solid year, recording three top 10 finishes and earning more than $1 million. Moore's addition to the field brings to 11 the number of top 50 players competing in this year's John Deere Classic.
This season, Leishman played his best golf in the spring, finishing in the top 10 at the Masters (T-4), RBC Heritage (T-9) and the Players Championship (T-8). The native Australian was the 2009 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year.
Villegas, who played the John Deere on a sponsor exemption in 2004, has two top 10 finishes this season and has earned more than $500,000. He recently got through international qualifying to earn a spot in the British Open.
A winner of the Western Open (2004) and the Players Championship (2006), Ames has made the cut in seven of 15 starts this year and has one top 25 finish.
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.