Thompson runs away with JDC

John Deere Champion Davis Thompson from St. Simons Island, Georgia, gets a close look at the trophy after winning the tournament, Sunday July 7, 2024, on the 18th green at TPC Deere Run in Silvis . PHOTO CREDIT JOHN SCHULTZ

Davis Thompson may be stoic and introverted to those who know him, but he plays a loud, exciting game of golf.

Mr. Thompson, a 25-year-old playing out of St. Simons Island, Ga., bolted away from the field on the former horse farm, now TPC Deere Run, to claim his first PGA Tour victory in the John Deere Classic.

Mr. Thompson quickly turned a two-stroke lead into much more on Sunday to distance himself from the field. He opened with five birdies on his first six holes. There were no challengers left after that gallop from the gate.

‘My goal this week was kick the door down and get a win,’’ the new champion said. “I got off to a great start today and was able to kind of cruise on the back nine.’’

 

Mr. Thompson carded a 7-under-par 64 to win by 4 shots over runners-up Michael Thorbjonsen (63), amateur Luke Clanton (63) and C.T. Pan (64). Mr. Thompson’s -28 is a tournament record. The previous record was -27 by 2018 champ Michael Kim.

Mr. Thompson is the 24 th JDC champion to break through for his first title.
When he dropped his par putt on the final hole, there was only a subdued celebration.
“That was more emotional than he was on our wedding day,’’ said a smiling Holly Grace Thompson. “He doesn’t say much. Sometimes he talks to me.”

But Mr. Thompson was emotional when he talked about his wife in a media conference.

‘’Seeing my wife at 18…it was awesome,’’ he said before pausing. ‘’We have been through a lot this year and it was cool to see her.”

She didn’t arrive until early Sunday because she was attending a wedding.

Former JDC champion Zach Johnson had a good week at 15 under and 5-under 65 on Sunday; low enough to contend in other tournaments but not with numbers being posted this week.

Mr. Johnson, who also lives at St. Simons Island, is familiar with Thompson and his game. They have played together often.

“He does everything well,’ Mr. Johnson said about the new champion. “It is not that he is the longest player, or the best putter, but he does everything really, really well. I am not surprised. We’ve seen this coming.

“He has made some changes and they are starting to click.”

Amateur Luke Clanton, who became a favorite of galleries, finished tied for second behind Mr. Thompson. As a pro, he would have banked more than $600,000. He says he will return to Florida State in the fall.

Who is Davis Thompson?

Age: 25

Residence: St. Simons Island, Georgia.

PGA Tour victories: 2024 John Deere Classic.

Spouse: Holly Grace.

Height: 6 feet 4 inches.

Weight: 195 pounds.

College: University of Georgia.

First-Time Winner: 24th in the history of the JDC and ninth on this year’s PGA Tour.

World ranking: Moves up to No. 38.

Winner’s Purse: $1,440,000 of the total purse of $8 million.

Record Breaker: Thompson’s 72-hole score of 28 under par is a JDC record.

Caped Crusader: Thompson is a huge fan of Batman movies.

Favorite Snack: Double-stuffed Oreo cookie.

State Champion: Thompson’s high school basketball team won a Georgia state championship.

Charter to Edinburgh

The John Deere Classic players who were aboard the John Deere jet charter flight to the Open Championship in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Sunday, July 7, 2024, were:

Jorge Campillo, Stewart Cink, Eric Cole, Nico Echavarria, Dylan Frittelli, Brice Garnett, Doug Ghim, Lucas Glover, Chris Gotterup, Max Greyerson, Ben Griffin, Ryo Hisatsune, Lee Hodges, Beau Hossler, Mark Hubbard and Sungjae Im.

Michael Kim, Ben Kohles, Justin Lower, Denny McCarthy, Keith Mitchell, Andrew Novak,  Thorbjorn Olesen, Chandler Phillips, Seamus Power, Aaron Rai, Davis Riley, Jordan Spieth,  Sepp Straka, Sam Stevens. JDC champion Davis Thompson, Brendon Todd, Sami Valimaki and Kevin Yu.

 

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