Elite college golfers earn exemptions for 2024 JDC

John Deere Classic logo exemptions

Big Ten Golfer of the Year Jackson Buchanan, of the University of Illinois, and NCAA Championship runner up Luke Clanton, of Florida State University, received exemptions to play the John Deere Classic, the PGA tournament announced Monday, June 10. 

On Monday, June 3, both players made it through sectional qualifying for this week’s U.S. Open at Pinehurst beginning on Thursday, June 13.

The JDC will be Tuesday to Sunday, July 3-7, at TPC Deere Run in Silvis.

“We are thrilled to continue the John Deere Classic’s long-standing tradition of identifying top young golfers and giving them the opportunity to compete alongside the world’s best,” JDC Tournament Director Andrew Lehman said in a news release. “With five wins between them this year, both Jackson and Luke have proven themselves to be exceptional players worthy of these highly coveted exemptions.”

Golfer of the year

Big Ten Golfer of the Year Jackson Buchanan, a University of Illinois golf standout, has received an exemption to play in the 2024 John Deere Classic from the Quad Cities’ PGA tournament. CREDIT UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS

The 22-year-old Mr. Buchanan was named Big Ten Golfer of the Year after winning twice at the Purdue Fall Invitational and the Duck Invitational, and finishing runner up at the Big Ten Championship. The Dacula, Georgia, native played in all 13 Illini events and posted an impressive 70.90 stroke average. He was named a third team All-America by the Golf Coaches Association of America.

The college stars join an impressive lineup for the 53rd edition of the Quad Cities-based PGA Tour event. It includes Sepp Straka as defending champion. This year’s tournament will offer an $8 million purse.

“I’ve watched the John Deere Classic on TV for many years and am excited to see how I can work my way around the course,” Mr. Buchanan said in the release. “To be able to play a PGA Tour event in Illinois is even more special and I hope to see some Illini people out there.”

Event launches careers

NCAA Championship runner up Luke Clanton, a Florida State University golf star, has received an exemption to play in this year’s John Deere Classic, July 3-7, at TPC Deere Run in Silvis. CREDIT FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY

In his just-finished sophomore year, the 20-year-old Mr. Clanton made Seminole history by finishing second in individual stroke play at the NCAA Championship. He also won three consecutive tournaments last season. In the team segment of the NCAAs, FSU made it to the match play finals.

So far in his college career, Mr. Clanton has six wins and 19 top 10 finishes. He was named to the All-ACC team this year and is ranked sixth in the World Amateur Golf Rankins (WAGR).

Mr. Clanton added, “I’d like to thank John Deere and the tournament committee for the opportunity to compete in this year’s John Deere Classic. A long list of outstanding players have launched their careers here, and I hope to be next on that list. I can’t wait to tee it up.”

Since 2000, the John Deere Classic has awarded exemptions to future major champions Among them were Lucas Glover, Zach Johnson, Jason Day, Wyndham Clark, 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, Nick Hardy and Viktor Hovland.

For ticket information, visit johndeereclassic.com

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