Two Elite Young Star Receive Exemptions to Play in the John Deere Classic

Both Exemptions Are Competing in This Week’s U.S. Open

Continuing a longstanding tradition, the John Deere Classic has awarded exemptions to two top young stars to play in this year’s tournament, July 5-9, at TPC Deere Run. Both players are competing in this week’s U.S. Open.

Gordon Sargent and Michael Thorbjornsen distinguished themselves by virtue of their stellar amateur records both in college tournaments and in the most demanding and competitive amateur events.

“The John Deere Classic is proud to have granted exemptions to Gordon Sargent and Michael Thorbjornsen after each requested to play in this year’s tournament,” said John Deere Classic tournament director Andrew Lehman. “We’re very excited to welcome two players who have proven themselves time and again to be among the best on the world amateur circuit. And, of course, we’re pleased to continue our tradition of providing playing opportunities to rising young stars.”

Sargent, 20, of Birmingham, Alabama, won the 2022 NCAA individual championship as a freshman and received the Phil Mickelson Award for freshman of the year. He has been ranked No. 1 on the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) and received a special invitation to play in the 2023 Masters, the first time the tournament has issued a special invitation since 2000. He was runner up to Thorbjornsen at the 2021 Western Amateur and played on the U.S. Palmer Cup team in 2022 and 2023.

Thorbjornsen, 21, of Wellesley, Mass., just completed his junior year at Stanford, where he won the Pac-12 Conference title earlier this year and led the Cardinal to the NCAA Championships in Scottsdale, Arizona. The winner of the 2021 Western Amateur won the 2018 U.S. Junior Championship for which he received an exemption into the 2019 U.S. Open, where he made the cut at Pebble Beach. He played for the U.S. Palmer Cup squad in 2022.

Since the year 2000, the John Deere Classic has awarded exemptions to such future major champions as Lucas Glover, Zach Johnson, Jason Day, Webb Simpson, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau and Jon Rahm. Other PGA Tour winners who received exemptions include Charles Howell III, Matt Kuchar, Nick Watney, Camilo Villegas, Wyndham Clark, Nick Hardy and Viktor Hovland.

The 52nd edition of the Quad Cities-based PGA Tour event will be conducted July 5-9 at TPC Deere Run in Silvis with J.T. Poston as defending champion. In a wire-to-wire victory, Poston won by three shots in 2022 with a 21-under par total for the 72-hole event. The tournament will offer a $7.4 million purse, an increase of $300,000,

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 in 1971, the tournament has helped raise more than $159.57 million for charity.