The PGA Tour is in Silvis, Illinois this week for the John Deere Classic.

Lowdown:

The PGA Tour heads for Illinois this week and the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run. Brian Harman defends and Jordan Spieth will be completing his final Open preparation.

It’s not the most significant event on the PGA Tour in terms of prize money or points but there is a decent incentive for lower-ranked players. The leading golfer (not otherwise exempt) in this event who finishes in the top 5 and ties will gain a start at The Open Championship next week.

This event began life back in 1971 as the Quad Cities Open. Since then it has seen some notable winners, including Dave Stockton, Payne Stewart, Scott Hoch, Steve Stricker and Vijay Singh.

In 2013, 19-year-old Jordan Spieth came through a playoff against Zach Johnson and David Hearn to become the first teenage winner on the PGA Tour since Ralph Guldahl won the 1931 Santa Monica Open. Spieth triumphed at TPC Deere Run at the fifth extra hole.

Spieth will play again this week, completing his final preparation for St Andrews as he looks to secure the third leg of a Grand Slam. Also on the start sheet is three-time champion Steve Stricker who is on the road to recovery following back surgery.

The course at TPC Deere Run in Illinois was designed by DA Weibring in 1999, but it was remodelled by the PGA Tour in 2007. It has been host to the John Deere Classic since 2000. The course is located near the Rock River and the valley it creates affects a number of holes here.

TPC Deere Run is known for producing low scoring – as evidenced by Paul Goydos’ 59 in this event in 2010. A winning total around the 20-under-par mark is standard.

Last year, Brian Harman took his first PGA Tour title, firing a closing round of 66 to hold off a charging Zach Johnson by a single shot.

The weather for the week looks mainly settled, although there could be a chance of thunderstorms on Friday.

 

Venue: TPC Deere Run, Silvis, Illinois

Date: Jul 9-12

Course stats: par 71, 7,268 yards

Purse: $4,700,000 Winner: $846,000

Defending Champion: Brian Harman (-22)

 

TV Coverage:

Thursday 9 – Sky Sports 4 from 9pm

Friday 10 – Sky Sports 4 from 9pm

Saturday 11 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm

Sunday 12 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm

 

Player watch:

Zach Johnson – A real specialist in this event, Johnson won in 2012. He’s finished outside the top three only once in his last six starts.

Jordan Spieth – The 2013 winner also enjoyed a good defence at this event last year, he finished seventh. He believes he’s going to win every tournament he enters right now, and few would question him.

David Hearn – He lost a playoff in this event in 2013 and he lost a playoff last week in The Greenbrier. He’s on form and he obviously likes this course… surely a good combination.

 

Key Hole: 16th. A par 3 of just 158 yards, it’s all carry to a bluff sitting 40 feet above the Rock River. The front of the putting surface is guarded by a shale outcropping and a large bunker.