Trophy House nourishes third JDC champion in a row

John Deere Champion Davis Thompson and his wife Holly Grace walk hand in hand toward the club house after winning the tournament, Sunday July 7, 2024, at TPC Deere Run in Silvis . PHOTO CREDIT JOHN SCHULTZ

Perhaps there is something in the water or some sort of Breakfast of Champions being served up at what has become known as the Trophy House that helps turn the PGA Tour players who stay there into winners at TPC Deere Run.  

Or maybe it’s the brotherhood and support provided on an often isolating PGA Tour to those who live together and support one-another during John Deere Week at this Airbnb house at an undisclosed location near the Silvis course.

Regardless of the reasons behind it, it is an incontrovertible fact that after first-time winner Davis Thompson’s decisive victory at TPC Deere Run on Sunday, July 7, all three of the John Deere Classic’s most recent winners called that rental house home during their winning tournament year.

Contributing to the location’s mystique this year is that Mr. Thompson hadn’t even planned to bunk at that informal frat house this year. Mr. Strepka, the highest ranking player in this year’s Quad Cities PGA tournament, had booked a room but opted out when his wife and six-month-old daughter came along to the Quad Cities.

That made room for Mr. Thompson, who was the last to join the Trophy House group before carding the lowest score in JDC tournament history Sunday and carrying off his first PGA Tour trophy: the JDC Bronze Buck.

“It’s kind of crazy,” Mr. Thompson said of the consecutive winners including himself who have stayed in the six-bedroom house that has been used by JDC players.

“I stayed in Sep’s room this year. So I don’t know, me and him may be fighting for that room next year. But it was just pretty laid-back, this guy’s hanging out, watching sports, playing cards, it was a really fun week,” he added.

Other group housing

Fun isn’t the only goal of tournament communal housing and the Quad Cities isn’t the only location to have it. According to the “PGA Tour Insider”, the Quad Cities rental home is one of several such setups arranged by and for players around the PGA Tour.

They’re organized by Chris Kirk, a PGA Courage Award winner who battled his way back to competition after alcohol and other challenges forced him off the tour. His goal, he told PGA Tour Staff Writer Cameron Morfit, is to help players protect their mental well-being and overcome loneliness on an often isolating PGA Tour.

According to the PGA Insider story, others who have stayed in the homes are Denny McCarthy, Greyson Sigg, Brendon Todd, Keith Mitchell and more.

For all the rewards there are from living communally for the duration of a tournament, winning the tournament does come at a price.

“The tradition is when somebody wins that week then they pay for the entire house,” Mr. Kirk told the Insider during the Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches. “And we’ve had, gosh, probably six of those or something like that in the last – a lot of wins the last few years. So, yeah, I think the results just right there kind of speak for themselves.”

For Mr. Thompson the rewards far outweigh the cost.  The 25-year-old Georgian takes home $1.44 million and moves up to No. 22 in the FedEx Cup standings and an invite to next year’s signature events.

“I think I have to pay for the whole house, which is unfortunate,” a smiling Mr. Thompson told CBS. “But I’ll gladly write the check for that.”

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