The John Deere Classic today announced it has awarded sponsor exemptions to four up-and-coming young players - three collegians and one professional.
Tournament director Clair Peterson identified the players:
- Jack Newman, of Des Moines, winner of the 2008 U.S. Amateur Public Links. That victory earned Newman an exemption into this year's Masters Tournament. A member of the Michigan State golf team, Newman earned Second Team All-Big 10 honors as a sophomore. A graduate of Hoover High School in Des Moines, Newman won the Iowa High School 4A state championship.
- Kyle Stanley, of Gig Harbor, Washington, is third among U.S. players in the World Amateur Rankings and is among 10 semi-finalists for the prestigious Ben Hogan Award given to the nation's top college golfer. A junior at Clemson, Stanley won the Southern Amateur last summer and the Carpet Classic in Dalton, Georgia.
- Philip Francis, a UCLA junior-to-be will be making his third appearance at the John Deere Classic. Last year, Francis, a native of Scottsdale, Arizona, finished tied for 34th at the John Deere Classic after starting the final round tied for 11th.
- Brady Schnell, a five-time champion and leading money winner last year on the Dakotas Tour and currently leading money winner on the Gateway Tour's Desert Spring Series. A former Quad City resident and graduate of the University of Nebraska, Schnell played in the 2007 John Deere Classic, finishing in a tie for 57th.
"Once again this year, the John Deere Classic is proud of its tradition of providing up-and-coming young players an opportunity to compete against the best in the world," Peterson said. "As a result, we have been able to bring many future stars to our tournament, including the likes of Tiger Woods, Zach Johnson, Camillo Villegas, David Toms, Nick Watney, Lucas Glover, Webb Simpson, and others."
The PGA Tour began its run in the Quad Cities in 1971. John Deere, whose world headquarters is located in Moline, Ill., assumed title sponsorship of the tournament in 1998. The tournament moved to TPC Deere Run in 2000.
Information about tickets and corporate hospitality is available at www.johndeereclassic.comor by calling toll free 1-800-336-4655.
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 in1971, the tournament has helped raise $29 million for charity.