The John Deere Classic today announced it has awarded a sponsor exemption to Australia’s Curtis Luck, the world’s former No. 1 amateur who recently turned pro.
Luck, 20, of Cottesloe in Western Australia (near Perth), tied for fifth, July 2, at the Quicken Loans Championship, his best finish in eight starts on the PGA TOUR. He will be in a field of 156 players competing for their share of a record $5.6 million purse, July 10-16, at TPC Deere Run.
Winner of the 2016 U.S. Amateur, Luck has played two events as an amateur this year and six as a professional. His final amateur event came at the 2017 Masters, where he finished T-46.
“The John Deere Classic is thrilled to award a sponsor exemption to Curtis Luck, who gives every indication of carrying on the Australian tradition of playing high-quality golf on the PGA TOUR,” said Clair Peterson. “We know golf fans of the Quad Cities always are excited to get a look at up-and-coming young international players and Curtis certainly qualifies.”
Luck’s immediate goal is to earn $517,738 - the equivalent to the amount earned by the player ranked No. 150 on last year’s season-ending Money List – to gain Special Temporary Membership on the PGA TOUR, which would enable him to qualify for unlimited sponsor exemptions this season. To do it, he would have to earn another $233,000 in addition to the $285,000 he has made so far.
Luck’s top 10-finish at Quicken Loans got him into this week’s Greenbrier event without having to spend a sponsor exemption.
Three other players who finished in the top 10 at Quicken Loans – the champion, Kyle Stanley; runner-up Charles Howell III, and Sung Kang, T-5 – also will be playing the John Deere Classic. All three qualified for the British Open on Sunday and will be among the 20-plus players taking the John Deere Classic charter to the Open at Royal Birkdale.
Both Stanley and Howell have a bit of history with the John Deere Classic. Stanley finished runner-up to Steve Stricker in 2011 after receiving a sponsor exemption in 2009.
In 2000, playing on a sponsor invitation, Howell finished third in one of his earlier tournaments on the PGA TOUR. It also was the first year the tournament was played at TPC Deere Run.
Major champions Bubba Watson and World Golf Hall-of-Fame member Davis Love III have committed along with 2017 winners Kevin Kisner (Dean & DeLuca, at Colonial, Fort Worth) and Daniel Berger (FedEx-St. Jude, Memphis). 2014 John Deere Classic champion and this year’s U.S. Open co-runner up Brian Harman and Pat Perez also are in the field.
Among previously announced players who have committed are past champions Zach Johnson (2012), Steve Stricker (2009-’11), veteran Charlie Hoffman, and Players champion Si Woo Kim plan to compete.
“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 Peterson. He added that players have until 5 p.m. the Friday prior to the tournament (July 7) to commit.
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.