Compelling Blend of Veterans, Youngsters Commit to Play in 2007 John Deere Classic

EAST MOLINE, IL Reigning Masters champion Zach Johnson no doubt will be the focal point of the 2007 JDC. But while the Cedar Rapids, IA native will be feeling the love, the tournament won't by any means be a 1-man show.

A new group of distinguished PGA Tour vets and aspiring young pros have committed to compete in this year's JDC at TPC Deere Run, tournament officials announced today.

The list of accomplished veterans includes Kenny Perry, Kirk Triplett, Jesper Parnevik and Woody Austin. They will join previously announced major champions Paul Azinger, Steve Elkington, Todd Hamilton, Lee Janzen, Bernhard Langer and Bob Tway in the field.

The group of up-and-coming youngsters includes 3 rookies, each of whom appears to be well on his way to establishing himself on Tour: Anthony Kim, Jeff Quinney and Brant Snedeker. They will try to duplicate the magic of Sean O'Hair, who won the tournament as a rookie in '05 and is back in the field again this year.

In addition, young players who have been on Tour a relatively short time - J.B. Holmes, Matt Kuchar, Heath Slocum and Ken Duke - have officially committed to play.

"As always, the field at the JDC is an eclectic mix of established veterans, competitive young players as well as players who are in the prime of their careers," said JDC Tournament director Clair Peterson. "This is why the tournament continues to produce such compelling story lines and great excitement for the fans every year."

A 9-time winner on the PGA Tour and a former Ryder Cup player, Perry recently tied for 3rd at The Memorial tournament, his best finish since '05. Perry is working his way back into form after undergoing knee surgery last season.

While Triplett has played regularly in the Quad Cities over the years, this will be the first appearance for Parnevik, a native Swede who has 5 PGA Tour victories and is known for his fashionable wardrobe as well as his golf game. Austin notched 4 top 10 finishes last year and earned more than $1 million.

The youngest rookie on the Tour this season, Kim will celebrate his 22nd birthday 2 weeks before the JDC. He has 5 top 10 finishes in 17 starts this year and already has earned more than $1.5 million. In his 1st PGA Tour event after turning pro last season, he tied for 2nd at the Valero Texas Open.

Quinney and Snedeker graduated from the Nationwide Tour last year. Quinney currently has 5 top 10 finishes this year, including a tie for 6th last month at The Players, where Snedeker tied for 12th.

Kuchar has 4 top 25 finishes in 15 starts this year after playing on the Nationwide Tour last year. His best finish so far this year was a tie for 3rd at the AT&T. He also finished 6th at Pebble Beach.

Holmes, who won the FBR Open in Phoenix last year as a rookie, has 2 top 10s this year and recently finished 16th at The Players. Duke was the Nationwide Tour's Player of the Year in '06 and has 3 top 10 finishes this year, including a 2nd at New Orleans and a T7 at Wachovia. 2-time Tour winner Slocum, who tied for 9th last year at the JDC, has 3 top 10 finishes in 13 events this year.

JDC week starts Mon, July 9 with a pro-am event. Spectators are admitted free on Mon. and Tues. This year's annual Youth Clinic is scheduled for 3pm Tues. at the driving range and will be hosted by legendary golf instructor Jim Flick. The tournament pro-am is all day Wed. and the tournament itself runs Thurs-Sun.


JULY 8 - 14