EAST MOLINE, Illinois
Australians Stuart Appleby and Michael Sim along with Sweden's Fredrik Jacobson are among the latest international players to make official commitments to play in the 40th annual John Deere Classic, July 5-11, at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois.
It is the first time Appleby and Jacobson have played in the tournament.
Also committing officially this week were two players with Southern California connections: rookie Rickie Fowler, an Anaheim native, and Kevin Stadler, who attended USC. Fowler, a high-flying rookie out of Oklahoma State, had earlier made his intentions known via media reports.
"The field at this year's John Deere Classic just keeps getting better," said tournament director Clair Peterson. "Over the years, Stuart Appleby has contended multiple times in major championships. Fredrik Jacobson is a world-renowned player who has three top 10 finishes this year. Michael Sim dominated the Nationwide Tour last year and finished second earlier this year at Torrey Pines. We are very happy to have them all. We wish them the best on their quest to earn a spot in the British Open."
While the field of 156 players still consists primarily of American-born players, 24 - a little more than 15 percent - are from outside the U.S. Australia has by far the largest number of contestants at 13 followed by Swedne (five), South Africa (three), Korea (two), Zimbabwe (two), England (two), Canada (one) and Norway (one).
Seven of the 24 internationals are exempt for the British Open and will be flying on the John Deere Classic's direct charter flight to Edinburgh from Quad Cities International Airport. The highest finisher among the top five not already exempt also earns a spot in this year's Open Championship at St. Andrews.
Here's the country-by-country breakdown of international players:
Australia: Stuart Appleby, Greg Chalmers, Jason Day, Matthew Goggin, Nathan Green, David Lutterus, Jarrod Lyle, James Nitties, Rod Pampling, Cameron Percy, Aron Price, John Senden (2006 JDC champion), Michael Sim
Sweden: Daniel Chopra, Mathias Gronberg, Fredrik Jacobson, Richard S. Johnson, Carl Pettersson
South Africa: Tim Clark, Garth Mulroy, Brenden Pappas
England: Brian Davis, Greg Owen
Zimbabwe: Brendon de Jonge, Andrew McLardy
Korea: K.J. Choi, Charlie Wi
Canada: Graham DeLaet
Norway: Henrik Bjornstad
Tickets for the John Deere Classic are available at http://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.
The tournament helped raise $4.6 million for 500 charities in 2009, ranking it first on the PGA TOUR overall in per capita contributions at $12.26 for each of the 375,000 residents of the Quad City area and fifth 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, Illinios. Since its founding in 1971, the tournament has helped raise $33.6 million for charity.