SILVIS, IL Australia's John Senden, who earned his 1st PGA Tour victory at last year's John Deere Classic, will defend his title this year July 12-15 at the TPC Deere Run in Silvis, IL.
"The John Deere Classic, obviously, is a special tournament to me and I am looking forward to returning to the Quad Cities and the TPC Deere Run," said Senden, the 18th 1st-time winner in the history of the event. "I have a lot of great memories and good feelings about the course, the fans and the tournament overall."
Not long after winning in the Quad Cities, the 36-year-old Queenslander won the Australian Open in his native country, making 2007 a career year for him as a touring pro. He also had 2 other top 10 finishes on the PGA Tour and won $1.65 million in prize money on the US circuit alone.
Senden will be among an impressive group of players expected to compete at this year's $4.1 million JDC. Early commitments include Masters champion and Cedar Rapids native Zach Johnson, 2005 JDC champion Sean O'Hair, and 2004 British Open champion Todd Hamilton, who hails from downstate IL and has family in the Quad Cities.
In addition, 2-time Masters champion and European Ryder Cup captain Bernhard Langer, former PGA champion and 2008 Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger, former PGA Champions Bob Tway and Steve Elkington, former two-time US Open champion Lee Janzen, and five-time PGA Tour winner Billy Mayfair have told JDC tournament director Clair Peterson they plan to play.
Milwaukee native and Chicago resident Mark Wilson, winner of this year's Honda Classic, and the man he defeated in the Honda Classic playoff, Boo Weekley who won the Verizon Heritage in a playoff at Hilton Head Island - also have committed. Likewise Nick Watney, winner of this year's Zurich Classic in New Orleans, who received a sponsor exemption for the John Deere in 2005. Long-hitting Bubba Watson, who already has four top 10 finishes in this his 2nd year on the regular PGA Tour, also has committed.
2006 PGA Tour Comeback Player of the Year award winner Steve Stricker and Sweden's Carl Peterson, winner of the 2006 Memorial, also have verbally committed.
"We're very pleased with the field that's developing for the 2007 JDC," Peterson said. "In talking to the players, you find that they really love the golf course and they enjoy the family atmosphere of the tournament. Once again, we're planning on a great week and an exciting tournament."
Peterson granted exemptions to three star amateurs: Oklahoma State's Jonathan Moore, winner of the 2006 NCAA Championship; Nebraska standout Brady Schnell of Bettendorf, IA, winner of the 2006 North/South Amateur, and UCLA-bound Philip Francis, winner of last year's U.S. Junior Amateur and the No1-ranked junior player in the country.
This year's JDC will have a new network TV partner - and actually it's the tournament's old network. CBS is back after a three-year absence during which ABC did the telecast. CBS is televising 21 PGA Tour events this year, including The Masters and The PGA Championship. This year's CBS coverage will run from 2-5 pm, an increase of one hour over last year.
The Golf Channel will televise the first two rounds on Thursday and Friday, with CBS handling production. Airtimes are 2-5 pm.
Tickets for the JDC may be ordered by visiting www.johndeereclassic.com or by calling 800-336-4655.