John Deere Classic History and Past Winners
The John Deere Classic began life in 1971 as the Quad Cities Open. For its first four years, it was played at the Crow Valley Country Club in Davenport, Iowa. (The other members of the Quad Cities are Moline and Rock Island Illinois, and Bettendorf and East Moline, Iowa. Yes, there are five in the quad). The winner the first two years was Deane Beman, who later would serve as PGA Commissioner from 1974 to 1994.
In 1975, the event was renamed the Ed McMahon-Jaycees Quad Cities Open, and moved to Oakwood Country Club in Coal Valley, Illinois. It stayed there until 1999, under various names, including the Miller High LIfe Quad Cities Open, the Lite Quad Cities Open, the Hardees Golf Classic, and the Quad City Classic.
John Deere became the sponsor in 1999, and in 2000, the event moved to the TPC at Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois.
The tournament has for years been played in July, the week before the British Open, and this has at times made it difficult for the event to attract a strong field. However, the (British) Open Championship grants an exemption to a player who finishes in the top five at the Deere, who is not already otherwise qualified. That sort of qualifying has produced some good results in the past. Open Champion Ben Curtis got into the tournament by virtue of a 13th place finish at the Western Open, played two weeks before the Open.
In what was seen as largely as a publicity stunt, the John Deere gave Michelle Wie a sponsor’s exemption in 2005. Wie shot a -1, missing the cut by two strokes. She got another exemption in 2006, and finished six over par on the first day, then withdrew after the ninth on the second, citing heat exhaustion.
A list of past winners follows:
|John Deere Classic|
|2000||Michael Clark II|
|Quad City Classic|
|Hardee’s Golf Classic|
|Lite Quad Cities Open|
|Miller High Life QCO|
|Quad Cities Open|
|Ed McMahon-Jaycees Quad Cities Open|
|Quad Cities Open|
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