2009 British Open Champion Stewart Cink To Play In This Year's John Deere Classic

EAST MOLINE, Illinois (June 16, 2011) - 2009 British Open champion Stewart Cink will compete in the $4.5 million John Deere Classic, July 4-10, at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill., tournament officials announced Thursday.

The addition of Cink's name to the commitment list means the John Deere Classic field now boasts the two most recent "Champion Golfers of the World." 2010 British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa recently decided to play here a week before defending his title at Royal St. George's in Kent, England.
In addition, David Duval, winner of the 2001 British Open, joined the field this week, bringing to five the number of former British Open champions currently committed to play. Todd Hamilton (2004) and John Daly (1995) committed earlier. All will be among a field of 156 players trying to prevent two-time defending champion Steve Stricker to become the first player in the history of the tournament to win it three times consecutively. Stricker won last year even though veteran Paul Goydos shot 12-under par 59 in the opening round before finishing second.

"The John Deere Classic is elated that Stewart Cink has decided to join our very competitive field, and with that we are extremely pleased to have the two most recent British Open champions playing this year at TPC Deere Run," said John Deere Classic tournament director Clair Peterson. "It also will be great to welcome back David Duval, who has been very supportive of the event in recent years."

Another addition to the field this week was Harrison Frazer, who won at Memphis last Sunday, bringing to nine the number of 2011 winners in the field this year.

In 2009, Cink won one of the more memorable British Open championships, edging the legendary Tom Watson by a stroke. At TPC Deere Run, Cink has played two events, finishing tied for eighth in 2004 and tied for 29th in 2005.

A 38-year-old six-time PGA TOUR winner, Cink this season has six top 20 finishes and one top 10 while undergoing a swing change. The Huntsville, Alabama native and former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket has played on five U.S. Ryder Cup teams and four Presidents Cup teams. His best finish this season was a tie for ninth at the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Country Club near Charlotte.

Other British Open-qualified players who have committed are Stricker, 2007 John Deere Classic champion Jonathan Byrd, Jerry Kelly, former Masters champion and Cedar Rapids (Ia.) native Zach Johnson, and Bo Van Pelt. Other Open qualifiers include Brian Davis, Chad Campbell, Nathan Green, and two-time 2011 winner Mark Wilson.

Like other British Open contestants, Cink plans to utilize the tournament's direct charter flight to England from Quad City International Airport in Moline. The flight leaves Sunday evening following the conclusion of the tournament and is scheduled to arrive in Kent around noon Monday. Players will be driven immediately to Royal St. George's a short distance away. This is the fourth year the tournament has made the British Open charter available to its contestants and their traveling parties, each of whom pay $1,250 per seat, with the money going to the tournament's charity fund. Stricker, who last year obliterated the tournament's previous 72-hole scoring record by four shots, will be joined at TPC Deere Run by former major champions, including Rich Beem (2002 PGA Championship), Shaun Micheel (2003 PGA), and Mike Weir of Canada (2002 Masters).

Tickets for the John Deere Classic are available at www.johndeereclassic.com or by calling 309-762-4653.

The PGA Tour began its run in the Quad Cities in 1971. John Deere, whose world headquarters is in Moline, Ill., assumed title sponsorship of the tournament in 1998 and is committed through 2016. The tournament moved to TPC Deere Run in 2000.

The tournament helped raise $4.34 million for 500 charities in 2010, ranking it first among regular PGA TOUR events in per capita contributions at $11.57 for each of the 375,000 residents of the Quad City area and eighth overall on the PGA TOUR.

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, Ill. Since its founding in 1971, the tournament has helped raise $38 million for charity.

Barry Cronin
Cronin Communications, Inc.



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