Former College Star Patrick Rodgers Receives a “Spieth” Exemption
The John Deere Classic’s tradition of offering valuable playing opportunities to elite young players continued Wednesday when the tournament announced it has awarded sponsor exemptions to three of the nation’s top college players – all of whom qualified for next week’s U.S. Open - and to former college star Patrick Rodgers, now making his way impressively as a touring pro.
Here are the sponsor exemptions:
- Lee McCoy, 21, the world’s fourth-ranked amateur, went 2-0-0 in match play this spring to help lead his Georgia Bulldogs to the semifinals of the NCAA tournament, after which he qualified for next week’s U.S. Open. McCoy finished the college season ranked fourth in the nation based on his consistently excellent play throughout the year. The 21-year-old native of Clarksville, Ga. was co-medalist at last year’s U.S. Amateur, and finished top 10 in the Canadian Amateur (T-8), Southern Amateur (7th), Northeast Amateur (T-3) and the Azalea Invitational (8th).
- Formerly the world’s No. 1-ranked amateur, Patrick Rodgers, 22, now playing professionally, will receive his fourth exemption to compete in the John Deere Classic. Rodgers recently earned special temporary membership on the PGA TOUR, meaning he now has access to unlimited sponsor exemptions through the end of the season – the same path Jordan Spieth used to get on the Tour in 2013. Spieth won the John Deere Classic to gain full status. A native of Avon, Ind. who played his college golf at Stanford, Rodgers was runner-up last month at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte.
“The John Deere Classic is thrilled to announce that Bryson DeChambeau, Lee McCoy, Brian Campbell and Patrick Rodgers have accepted sponsor exemptions to compete in the 2015 championship,” said John Deere Classic tournament director Clair Peterson. “The John Deere Classic has a proud history of giving top young players an opportunity to test their games against the highest level of competition. We do so in order that the tournament may give its loyal fans a glimpse of the PGA TOUR’s future stars.”
In addition to Spieth, winner of this year’s Masters, some other past sponsor exemptions whose careers panned out well include:
Jason Day (2006), Zach Johnson (2002-‘03), Matt Kuchar (2001), Bill Haas (2004) Patrick Reed (2013), Webb Simpson (2008) and Tiger Woods (1996).
This year’s John Deere Classic will be played July 6-12 at TPC Deere Run.
Tickets for the John Deere Classic are available at www.johndeereclassic.com or by calling 309-762-4653.