By Doug Halberstadt
Following his win at the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, last month, I wrote a story about local professional golfer Steve Stricker. At the end of that column, I said I had a feeling I would be writing a lot more about him if he were to continue his winning ways.
Thursday, July 7, he will be going for his third-straight win as the first round of the John Deere Classic tees off from TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill. Stricker will be joined by 155 of his fellow players from the PGA Tour. They will by competing for a $4.5 million purse. The winner’s share is expected to be close to $780,000.
Some of Stricker’s stiffest competition is expected to come from a bevy of top players from around the world. Reigning British Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen, along with Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III, 2009 British Open Champion Stewart Cink and 2011 Masters and U.S. Open runner-up Jason Day are just a few of the elite golfers aiming to dethrone Stricker.
Fans can see Stricker and the other professionals up close and in person by purchasing tickets for $28 at the gate; clubhouse tickets are $34 in advance; VIP Clubhouse Pack is $140; ages 12 and younger are admitted free when accompanied by a paid adult; and ages 13-18 get half-price tickets when purchased at the gate.
Thursday’s opening round is also Senior Day. Anyone 60 or older can enter the grounds for $18. Tickets are also available by calling the tournament office at (309) 762-GOLF(4653), or 800-336-4655, or by ordering online from JohnDeereClassic.com. Play begins at approximately 7 a.m. each day.
Thanks to Lowe’s, all military personnel holding a Common Access Card (CAC) will be given free admission along with one guest each day Thursday-Sunday. This offer applies to active duty military only, and not civilian or contractor CAC cardholders. A CAC card must be shown at the front gate to receive a daily ticket.
Sunday, July 10, all military guests are invited to the air-conditioned Lowe’s skybox behind the No. 15 green for complimentary food and beverages, along with VIP golf viewing.
Television coverage of the first and second rounds of the John Deere Classic will be broadcast on the Golf Channel from 2 to 5 p.m., Thursday and Friday (July 7-8). CBS Sports will broadcast the third and final round Saturday and Sunday, July 9-10, also from 2 to 5 p.m.
Driving directions to TPC Deere Run and more information about the 2011 John Deere Classic are available at JohnDeereClassic.com.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the July 6-12, 2011, issue