Hoffman, Berger highlight latest John Deere Classic commitments


 PGA TOUR veteran Charley Hoffman, who finished eighth at last week’s U.S. Open, and Daniel Berger, who successfully defended his title in the FedEx-St. Jude event in Memphis earlier this month, have committed to compete in the $5.6 million John Deere Classic, July 10-16, at TPC Deere Run.

Also recently hitting the commitment list were Harold Varner III, 26, who has three top 25 finishes this year; Harris English, 27, who played in last week’s Open at Erin Hills; four-time PGA TOUR winner Chris Kirk, 32; Kyle Stanley, 29, who recently notched top 10 finishes at The Players and The Memorial; and Canadian Nick Taylor, 30, who has recorded top 10 finishes this year at Wells Fargo, AT&T Byron Nelson, and AT&T Pebble Beach.

Winner of the 2016 Valero Texas Open, Hoffman, who shot four under-par rounds at Erin Hills to finish at 9-under, joins eight other players who finished 27th or better in the national championship. They include 2014 John Deere Classic champion Brian Harman (T-2), PGA TOUR rookie Xander Schauffele (T-5), former Alabama standout Trey Mullinax (T-9), and 21-year-old Si Woo Kim (T-13), winner of the 2017 Players championship.

Former John Deere Classic champions Steve Stricker (2009-’11) and Zach Johnson (2012) finished T-16 and T-27, respectively, at the U.S. Open.  Both will play the John Deere Classic.

“The John Deere Classic is thrilled to have the mix of elite veteran and young players coming to TPC Deere Run to compete on a great golf course in front of our tremendous fans,” said tournament director Clair Peterson.  He added that players have until 5 p.m. the Friday prior to the tournament (July 7) to commit.

Besides his victory in Memphis, Berger, 24, has three other top 10 finishes this season, in China, Houston and Phoenix.  In 2016, in addition to his win in Memphis, he recorded top 10s at The Masters, The Players, Shell Houston, and The Travelers.  A shoulder strain incurred at the U.S. Open forced him to withdraw from the British Open. He returned for the FedExCup Playoffs and made it through to the Tour Championship, where he finished T-21.

Hoffman, 40, has four top 10 finishes this year, including a runner-up at Arnold Palmer (Bay Hill, Orlando), a T-4 at Genesis (Riviera Country Club outside Los Angeles), and the Zurich Classic in New Orleans, where he and Nick Watney finished T-5 in the Tour’s two-man team event. Watney also is playing the John Deere Classic.

At least 25 players who competed at the U.S. Open, including Berger, are scheduled to play at the John Deere Classic.

The 47th edition of the Quad Cities-based event will feature its highest-ever purse: $5.6 million, with $1 million going to the winner from a field of 156 players.

Tickets for the John Deere Classic are available at www.johndeereclassic.com or by calling 309-762-4653.

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