Jordan Spieth earned more than just his first PGA TOUR victory at the 2013 John Deere Classic
In defeating Zach Johnson and David Hearn on the fifth hole of a sudden death playoff at TPC Deere Run, it was as if Spieth unlocked the door to his own career.
At the age of 19 years, 11 months and 18 days, Spieth became the youngest pro tour winner since the great but comparatively unknown Ralph Guldahl won the Santa Monica Open in 1931. Spieth's fruits of victory included:
- Exemption into the 2013 British Open
- Exemption into the 2013 PGA Championship
- Exemption into the 2014 Masters Tournament
- Full PGA TOUR Membership for two years
- Enough FedExCup points to assure himself a spot in the Playoffs
Spieth went on to finish in the top 20 in all four FedExCup Playoff events, including a tie for second at the season finale TOUR Championship. He earned a spot on the 2013 Presidents Cup team, and was named PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year.
Then on April 13 of this year, in his first appearance at Augusta National Golf Club, Spieth grabbed the international spotlight and finished tied for second at the Masters Tournament. While Bubba Watson won the tournament, Spieth served notice that he intends to be a force in the future of golf.
Now age 20, Spieth will be back at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill. to defend his title, July 7-13, where he will try to make it two in a row. It will be Spieth's third consecutive start at the John Deere Classic.
"Needless to say we are elated and very proud that Jordan Spieth will be back at TPC Deere Run to defend his title," said John Deere Classic tournament director Clair Peterson. "Jordan has proven himself to be exceptional both on and off the golf course, and we are looking forward to giving our fans the opportunity to see him once again."
Peterson awarded Spieth a sponsor exemption in 2012 while he was still an amateur. Spieth had just led his Texas Longhorns to a national championship as a freshman. He made the cut at the John Deere Classic, and finished tied for 58th. Spieth turned pro in December 2012 and set out to earn his TOUR card.
In 2013, Peterson had agreed to give Spieth another exemption, but Spieth qualified on his own based on his accumulated official earnings as Special Temporary Member of the PGA TOUR. After holing a bunker shot on his final hole in regulation to get into the three-man playoff at the John Deere Classic, he won it with a two-putt par on the fifth playoff hole after a great approach out of the trees on the right side of the 18th fairway.
Through Masters week, Spieth had played in 12 PGA TOUR events this season, earning nine Top 25 finishes, including five Top 10s, the T-2 at Augusta and a second-place finish at the champions-only season kickoff Sony Open in Hawaii.
Spieth's statistics have created consistent success even though they are not eye-popping, which may say something about Spieth's mental and strategic approach to competition.
For example, Spieth ranks 107thin Driving Distance on Tour, with an average measured drive of 287.3 yards, and is 135th in Driving Accuracy at 58.5 percent of fairways hit. He is 157th in total driving. He's ranked 93rd in the all-important Greens-in-Regulation category, hitting 66.53 percent of his greens. He is ranked 45th in Sand Saves, at 54.76 percent, and he is 52nd in Total Putting.
But in the statistics that matter most, Spieth is doing just fine, thank you. As of April 15, he was ranked 31stAll-Around and fifth on the money list with more than $2.6 million in official earnings this year alone. And he was ranked fourth on the U.S. Ryder Cup Team points list.
Tickets for the John Deere Classic are available at www.johndeereclassic.com or by calling 309-762-4653.
The PGA Tour began its run in the Quad Cities in 1971. John Deere, whose world headquarters is in Moline, Ill., assumed title sponsorship of the tournament in 1998. The tournament moved to TPC Deere Run in 2000.
Defending champion, PGA TOUR 2013 Rookie of the Year and Masters runner-up Jordan Spieth will try for his second consecutive victory at the John Deere Classic. This year's tournament is set for July 7-13 at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill.
Now in its 44th year, the tournament generated $6.3 million for its participating charities in 2013, ranking it first among regular PGA TOUR events overall in per capita contributions at $16.08 for each of the 375,000 residents of the Quad City area. The tournament's charity contributions consistently rank among the top five overall on the PGA TOUR.
The John Deere Classic, which includes Birdies for Charity, is a 501(C)3 non-profit organization located in the John Deere Classic tournament offices at 15623 Coaltown Road, East Moline, Illinois. Since its founding in 1971, the tournament has helped raise more than $55 million for charity.