AJGA player and Stanford golfer Patrick Rodgers will tee off with the pros at
the John Deere Classic, July 9-15, at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill. Rodgers,
the Pac-12 Conference’s Player of the Year, received a sponsor exemption after
a sentimental appeal to JDC Tournament Director Clair Peterson.
wrote us a terrific letter, explaining that he was very familiar with the John
Deere Classic, having been in town for an AJGA event in 2007,” Peterson said.
“He came out to the tournament that year and watched Jonathan Byrd win. He even
admitted to walking by the woods of the driving range collecting lost range
native of Avon, Ind., Rodgers shares a special history with the John Deere
“The year Jonathan Byrd won, my friend and I watched the final
round and then stayed until everyone left and walked the back nine reliving the
shots we had just seen,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers will create his own shots at
next week’s PGA TOUR event, as he joins Texas’ Jordan Spieth as the only two
amateurs in the field.
“I would say more than any other event I feel a close
connection to the John Deere Classic based on my Midwest upbringing and past
experiences,” Rodgers said. “I can't wait to spend the week there.”
Those past experiences include two
appearances at the AJGA John Deere Classic Junior Open, including the 2009
tournament where he tied for second. Among Rodgers’ other AJGA accomplishments,
he was a two-time Rolex Junior All-American, as well as a two-time HP Scholastic
Junior All-American. Rodgers amassed nine top-10 finishes, including a win at
the 2009 Cleveland Junior Open.
the rising sophomore boasts an impressive collegiate record that includes 10
top-10 finishes in 12 events, PING First-Team All-American honors, and a
finalist for the 2012 Ben Hogan Award, Peterson credits Rodgers’ junior roots
as a compelling reason for his invitation to play in the John Deere Classic.
it was the fact that he had such good golf memories from his trip here as an
AJGA player,” Peterson said. “Being part of an AJGA event has benefits that
sometimes are unexpected. The AJGA puts on a great event that showcases our
community and allows players and families to become acquainted with us.”
Among the John Deere Classic’s previous sponsor exemptions are AJGA alum
and PGA TOUR professional Bill Haas, Matt Kuchar, Webb Simpson, Kyle Stanley and