The John Deere Classic tees off Thursday in Silvis, the first of two PGA events in Illinois this year. With former Illini Scott Langley and Dylan Meyer part of the field, sports editor MATT DANIELS breaks down the annual event in the Quad Cities:
When: Thursday through Sunday
TV: Golf Channel (3-6 p.m. Thursday.; 3-6 p.m. Friday; noon-1:45 p.m. Saturday; noon-1:45 p.m. Sunday); CBS (2-5 p.m. Saturday; 2-5 p.m. Sunday)
Purse: $6 million (winner’s share is $1,080,000)
Defending champion: Michael Kim
Course: TPC Deere Run, Par 72
Of note: Former Illini Steve Stricker, a three-time champion of the tournament, will play in the Senior Players Championship instead this week.
FORMER ILLINI IN THE FIELD
Tee times: 12:50 p.m. on Thursday; 7:40 a.m. on Friday
JDC history: The former NCAA champion at Illinois in 2010 will play in Silvis for the sixth time, but first since 2016. Langley missed the cut at JDC in his first appearance in 2011, but has fared well since, making it to the weekend each of the last four times. His best finish was in 2014 when he tied for 27th.
This year: Back on the PGA Tour after playing almost exclusively on the then-Web.com Tour the last two seasons, Langley is 136th in the FedEx Cup rankings. He has earned $614,108 this season, with a sixth-place finish at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February his best showing.
Tee times: 8:30 a.m. on Thursday; 1:40 p.m. on Friday
JDC history: The 2018 Illinois graduate first played in this event as an amateur in 2017. But he missed the cut. He fared better in his return to Silvis last year, opening with back-to-back 68s to make the weekend cut. He closed with a 66 during his final round to earn himself a tie for 43rd.
This year: It’s a good week for Meyer, who earned a spot at JDC by qualifying on Monday with a 65 and then celebrated his birthday on Wednesday. He’s played mainly on the Korn Ferry Tour this season, making the cut in only one of his 14 events. He tied for 57th at the Knoxville Open in mid-May.