2019 John Deere Classic Preview

2019 John Deere Classic Preview

John Deere Classic

Dates: July 8-14, 2019
Where: TPC Deere Run (Silvis, Illinois)
Par/Yards: 35-36—71/7,268 yards
Field: 156
2018 champion: Michael Kim
Purse: $6,000,000/$1,080,000 (winner)
FedExCup: 500 points (winner)
Website: johndeereclassic.com

Things to know

  • After an eight-shot win in 2018, Michael Kim returns to defend title
  • 2012 John Deere Classic winner Zach Johnson to make his 18th consecutive start in the event; has played each of his last 41 rounds at TPC Deere Run at par-or-better
  • Following last week’s 3M Open victory and T2 finish, Matthew Wolfe and Collin Morikawa, respectively, among rising stars in the field
  • 2019 John Deere Classic offers final spot to next week’s Open Championship
  • 22nd anniversary of John Deere title sponsorship, the third-longest relationship on PGA TOUR
  • Tournament eclipsed the $100 million mark in charitable giving with record $13.4 million from 2018

A look at the field

  • Nine winners during the 2018-19 PGA TOUR Season: Kevin Tway (Safeway Open), Cameron Champ (Sanderson Farms Championship), Charles Howell III (The RSM Classic), Adam Long (Desert Classic), Martin Trainer (Puerto Rico Open), Ryan Palmer (Zurich Classic of New Orleans, with Jon Rahm), Kevin Na (Charles Schwab Challenge), Nate Lashley (Rocket Mortgage Classic), Matthew Wolff (3M Open)
  • Six past John Deere Classic champions: John Senden (2006), Jonathan Byrd (2007), Zach Johnson (2012), Brian Harman (2014), Ryan Moore (2016) and Michael Kim (2018)

John Deere Classic and the FedExCup/Wyndham Rewards

With just four weeks (six events) remaining in the 2018-19 Regular Season, the John Deere Classic is pivotal in the race for the FedExCup and Wyndham Rewards Top 10. Only the top 125 in the standings after the Wyndham Championship advance to THE NORTHERN TRUST, the first of three Playoffs events.

  • Eight of the 11 winners of the John Deere Classic in the FedExCup era have qualified for the season-ending TOUR Championship (only Brian Harman/2014, Bryson DeChambeau/2017 and Michael Kim/2018 have not)
  • After claiming his first PGA TOUR title at the 2018 John Deere Classic, Kim advanced to the first two of four FedExCup Playoffs events (finished 81st in the FedExCup standings)
  • Only Jordan Spieth (2015) has won the John Deere Classic and gone on to win the FedExCup that season
  • The inaugural $10 million Wyndham Rewards Top 10 rewards players for their play during the Regular Season, prior to the start of the FedExCup Playoffs. The top Regular-Season finisher in FedExCup points through the Wyndham Championship will earn $2 million, followed by $1.5 million for the runner-up with the 10th-place finisher earning $500,000.

Current FedExCup standings

Position Player Points Wins Top-10s Starts Projected Bonus
1 Matt Kuchar 2,287 2 8 17 $2 million
2 Brooks Koepka 2,202 2 6 16 $1.5 million
3 Rory McIlroy 2,195 2 11 14 $1.2 million
4 Xander Schauffele 1,817 2 5 16 $1.1 million
5 Gary Woodland 1,789 1 8 18 $1.0 million
6 Patrick Cantlay 1,658 1 8 16 $850,000
7 Dustin Johnson 1,631 1 7 13 $700,000
8 Paul Casey 1,541 1 6 17 $600,000
9 Justin Rose 1,308 1 6 12 $550,000
10 Rickie Fowler 1,285 1 5 15 $500,000

The 2018 John Deere Classic

  • Michael Kim won the 2018 John Deere Classic by eight strokes, tied for the largest margin of victory on TOUR since the start of the 2015-16 season
  • His 54-hole score (191) and 72-hole score (257) are both the best on TOUR since Justin Thomas’ record-setting performance at the 2017 Sony Open in Hawaii
  • The victory was the first of Kim’s career and came one day after his 25th birthday
  • Francesco Molinari finished T2 coming off a win at the Quicken Loans National and went on to win The Open Championship in his next start

Tradition of young invitees continues

The John Deere Classic’s tradition of offering playing opportunities to deserving up-and-coming young players continues in 2019 with its sponsor exemptions including Viktor Hovland and Justin Suh. Notable sponsor exemptions at the John Deere Classic include Zach Johnson (2003), Jason Day (2006), Jordan Spieth (2012 and 2013), Justin Thomas (2013), Bryson DeChambeau (2015) and Jon Rahm (2016).

Field Notes

Matthew Wolff

  • Originally scheduled to compete on sponsor invitation
  • In third professional at last week’s 3M Open, eagled the 72nd hole to claim a one-stroke win over Collin Morikawa and Bryson DeChambeau at 21-under 263
  • At 20 years, 2 months, 23 days, the ninth-youngest winner of all-time on the PGA TOUR; first player under the age of 21 to win a PGA TOUR event since Jordan Spieth (2013 John Deere Classic/age 19 years, 11 months, 18 days)
  • Eligible to compete in the 2019 FedExCup Playoffs with his victory – will be inside the top 75 in the FedExCup standings
  • Eighth player since 1970 to win in his fourth career start or earlier
  • Former Oklahoma State Cowboy is one of three players to win the NCAA Individual Men’s Championship and a PGA TOUR event in the same year along with Ben Crenshaw (1973) and Tiger Woods (1996)

Collin Morikawa

  • Originally scheduled to compete on a sponsor invitation
  • Finished T2 with Bryson DeChambeau at last week’s inaugural 3M Open with scores of 68-66-64-66—264 (-20)
  • Fifth start as a professional: RBC Canadian Open (T14), U.S. Open (T35), Travelers Championship (T36), 3M Open (T2)
  • Finish at TPC Twin Cities earned him Special Temporary Membership to the PGA TOUR, allowing him to accept unlimited sponsor invitations
  • As a 19-year-old, California standout, contended at the Korn Ferry Tour’s Air Capital Classic in 2016 posting weekend rounds of 63-63 for a 17-under total; lost to Ollie Schniederjans in a three-man playoff
  • Four-time All-American and former top-ranked amateur in the world

Viktor Hovland

  • Fourth start as a professional; fourth sponsor exemption in as many weeks: Travelers Championship (T54), Rocket Mortgage Classic (T13), 3M Open (T13)
  • Winner of the 2018 U.S. Amateur
  • Teammates with Matthew Wolff at Oklahoma State University; was on wining 2018 NCAA Championship team
  • Before turning professional prior to the Travelers Championship, became the first player since Matt Kuchar in 1998 to be low amateur at the Masters Tournament (T32) and U.S. Open (T12) in the same season; set U.S. Open record for lowest score by an amateur (280/-4), besting Jack Nicklaus’ in 1960 (282)
  • 21-year-old is from Oslo, Norway

Justin Suh

  • Has made four starts as a professional and made first cut at last week’s 3M Open (T58)
  • A four-time All-American at USC and former top-ranked amateur in the world
  • 2018 Pac-12 Player of the Year, 2019 Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year
  • From San Jose, California

Ho Sung Choi

  • 45-year-old South Korean set to make second PGA TOUR start (2019 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am)
  • Member of Japan Golf Tour, won the Casio World Open in November of 2018 and has earned notoriety for his idiosyncratic swing nicknamed “The Fisherman Swing”

Joaquin Niemann

  • First-year full-time PGA TOUR member finished T5 in two of his last three PGA TOUR starts (Travelers Championship, Rocket Mortgage Classic)
  • Comes off a T23 at last week’s 3M Open
  • Former top-ranked amateur in the world (44 weeks in 2017, 2018)
  • In professional debut, finished sixth at the 2018 Valero Texas Open
  • Finished T23 as a Special Temporary Member at the 2018 John Deere Classic (69-69-68-65—271/-13)

Cameron Champ

  • Rookie poised to make first start in the John Deere Classic
  • Winner of the 2018 Sanderson Farms Championship and has also recorded top-10s this season at Mayakoba Golf Classic (T10) and The RSM Classic (6th)
  • Leads the PGA TOUR in Driving Distance (317.1 yards). On the Korn Ferry Tour in 2018, set a single-season record in that category (343.1)
  • Won the 2018 Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank on the Korn Ferry Tour

Zach Johnson

  • 2012 John Deere Classic champion to make his 18th consecutive start at the John Deere Classic
  • Holds an active streak of 41 consecutive rounds of par-or-better at TPC Deere Run (totaling 162-under-par); last over-par round came in 2008 (75/R3)
  • Has six top-10s in the last eight seasons at the event (T3/2011, Won/2012, T2/2013, 2nd/2014, T3/2015, T5/2017)
  • Native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and played collegiately at Drake University in Des Moines
  • Serves on the Board of Directors for the John Deere Classic
  • In 2014, John Deere announced a multi-year sponsorship of Johnson. Johnson’s bag features the John Deere logo, and a portion of the company’s sponsorship goes to the Zach Johnson Foundation.

John Deere Classic notes

  • From 2000-06, five of the John Deere Classic’s winners 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). From 2007-12, each champion had already amassed at least one win on TOUR. Jordan Spieth, Brian Harman, Bryson DeChambeau and Michael Kim joined the former group with their first-ever PGA TOUR wins in 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018, respectively.
  • Since the event moved to TPC Deere Run in 2000, six tournaments have been decided through a playoff (2015-Jordan Spieth, 2013-Jordan Spieth, 2012-Zach Johnson, 2008-Kenny Perry, 2004-Mark Hensby and 2000-Michael Clark II).
  • Since its 1971 inception, only six players have won the John Deere Classic more than once: Deane Beman (1971-72), D.A. Weibring (1979, 1991, 1995), Scott Hoch (1980, 1984), David Frost (1992-93), Steve Stricker (2009-11) and Jordan Spieth (2013, 2015).
  • Annually, the John Deere Classic continues to raise more charitable dollars per capita than any other event on TOUR through its “Birdies for Charity” program. Dating to 1971, the John Deere Classic has provided more than $100 million to regional charities.


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