2012 John Deere Classic Pre-Tournament Notes
Dates: July 9-15, 2012
Where: TPC Deere Run, Silvis, IL
Par/Yards: 35-36—71/7,268 yards
2011 champion: Steve Stricker
Purse: $4,600,000/$828,000 (winner)
FedExCup: 500 points to the winner
Format: 72-hole stroke play
A look at the 2011 John Deere Classic
Steve Stricker made a 25-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the 72nd hole last year to defeat Kyle Stanley by a stroke for his third consecutive John Deere Classic title. His approach shot from a fairway bunker on the final hole ranked No. 2 for “Shot of the Year” by PGATOUR.COM.
With his runner-up finish to Stricker last year, Kyle Stanley recorded his first career top-10 finish. The runner-up finish also earned Stanley a spot in the following week’s British Open, where he finished T44. Stanley earned his berth into the field at Royal St. George’s by virtue of being the top John Deere Classic finisher not already exempt.
In his 10th start at the John Deere Classic, Cedar Rapids native Zach Johnson posted a 6-under 65 in the final round last year to claim T3 honors. It was his second top-10 finish at TPC Deere Run in his last three starts (T2/2009).
More on Steve Stricker and the John Deere Classic
Last year’s win at TPC Deere Run was Stricker’s 11th on the PGA TOUR and his eighth since turning 40. Stricker claimed his 12th TOUR win earlier this year at the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Stricker is the only golfer to have multiple wins each of the previous three years on TOUR (2009-2011).
Stricker will attempt to become only the fifth player in PGA TOUR history to win the same tournament four consecutive times at the 2012 John Deere Classic. If he manages the feat, Stricker will join an exclusive club that includes Tom Morris, Jr., Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen and Tiger Woods.
Since 2009, Stricker has made 76 birdies at TPC Deere Run en route to a combined 68-under total.
Stricker was second in the field last year (+8.934) in Strokes Gained-Putting.
From a scoring-record standpoint, 2010 separated Stricker from the field. That year, he set the low-36 hole record of 126, the low-54 hole record of 188 and the low 72-hole record of 258.
A glance at the field with just six weeks (eight events) remaining in the PGA TOUR Regular Season:
Four past champions of the John Deere Classic: Steve Stricker (2009-2011), Jonathan Byrd (2007), John Senden (2006) and Sean O’Hair (2005).
Six of the top 30 in the FedExCup standings: Zach Johnson (6), Carl Pettersson (10), Kyle Stanley (16), Steve Stricker (20), Mark Wilson (22) and Robert Garrigus (28).
Last year’s runner-up Kyle Stanley lost a 3-stroke lead on the 72nd hole and fell to Brandt Snedeker in a subsequent playoff at the Farmers Insurance Open earlier this year. One week later, he overcame a final-round, eight-shot deficit to claim his first PGA TOUR title at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
There are seven major championship winners in the field, representing three of the four major championships: Zach Johnson (2007 Masters Tournament), David Duval (2001 British Open), Todd Hamilton (2004 British Open), John Daly (1991 PGA Championship, 1995 British Open), Stewart Cink (2009 British Open), Lee Janzen (1993 U.S. Open, 1998 U.S. Open), Y.E. Yang (2009 PGA Championship).
Ted Potter, Jr. became the second rookie to win in 2012 with a playoff victory over Troy Kelly last week at The Greenbrier Classic.
Eighteen year-old Jordan Spieth, a rising sophomore at the University of Texas, recently finished T21 in his first major championship start at the U.S. Open. Prior to that, the amateur helped lead Texas to a NCAA golf championship title. Spieth’s start at the 2012 John Deere Classic will be his eighth career PGA TOUR start and fifth of 2012.
Recent Illinois graduate Luke Guthrie made his professional debut last month at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, where rounds of 69-71-67-70 earned him T19 honors in his first-ever PGA TOUR start.
Open Championship exemption on the line
The leading player not otherwise exempt, among the top five finishers at the John Deere Classic will receive an exemption into British Open. Ties will be determined by the highest-ranking player in Official World Golf ranking at the commencement of the tournament.
Miscellaneous tournament notes
Since 2000, five of the 10 different winners of the John Deere Classic have made the title their first on the PGA TOUR – John Senden (2006), Sean O’Hair (2005), Mark Hensby (2004), David Gossett (2001) and Michael Clark II (2000).
Since moving to the TPC Deere Run in 2000, only three of the 12 outcomes have been decided through a playoff (2008-Kenny Perry, 2007-Mark Hensby and 2000-Michael Clark II).
Past champions of the John Deere Classic include former PGA TOUR Commissioner Deane Beman (1971-1972), the late Payne Stewart (1982) and PGA TOUR Hall of Fame Member Vijay Singh (2003).
Since its 1971 inception, only five players have won the John Deere Classic more than once; Deane Beman (1971-1972), D.A. Weibring (1979, 1991, 1995), Scott Hoch (1980, 1984), David Frost (1992¬1993) and Steve Stricker (2009-2011).
Players scheduled to compete in the 2012 John Deere Classic with the most starts; Billy Mayfair (16), Dicky Pride (15), Michael Bradley and Marco Dawson (13).
More than 20 players scheduled to compete in the following week’s British Open have committed to play this year’s John Deere Classic.
Paul Goydos’ 59 in round one of the 2010 John Deere Classic made him just the fourth of five players to post the elusive score. The others; Al Geiberger (1977 Danny Thomas Memphis Classic), Chip Beck (1991 Las Vegas Invitational), David Duval (1999 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic) and Stuart Appleby (2010 Greenbrier Classic).
In 2011, the John Deere Classic donated $5.29 million for various, non-profit organizations. The John Deere Classic continues to raise more charitable dollars per capita than any other event on TOUR.
Source: PGA Tour