John Deere Classic canceled, Tour looking to replace with Florida event (Updated)

John Deere Classic

The state of Illinois is being overly cautious in returning to normalcy and it’s cost them a sporting event.

Even though the PGA Tour has agreed to no fans at events in their restart of the 2020 season, the first event fans were going to be welcome at was going to be the John Deere Classic scheduled for July 9-12.

Unfortunately, that didn’t sit well with the state of Illinois and due to ridiculously harsh restrictions organizers have decided to go ahead and cancel the event.

Per ESPN’s Bob Harig:

The John Deere Classic, scheduled to be the fifth tournament on the PGA Tour’s revised schedule, will be canceled this year, sources confirmed to ESPN.

The tour hopes to replace it with another event, but the longtime tournament, scheduled for July 9-12, will not be played this year due to restrictions in Illinois that by then will still limit gatherings to 50 people.

The tournament was originally scheduled to be the first event to have spectators. The first four events, starting with the Charles Schwab Challenge on June 11, will be played without spectators, with events beyond that to be determined.

The PGA Tour is trying to replace the John Deere for this year only, and there is some consideration to having an event at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, the site of tour headquarters.

Sucks for Illinois, but the state of Florida is welcoming sporting events back and the Tour will gladly replace JDC with something else in their home state.

Update: The Tour released the following statement in regards to the cancelling of the John Deere Classic.

Citing ongoing local and state-related challenges related to gathering restrictions, the John Deere Classic, title sponsor John Deere and the PGA TOUR announced today that the 2020 tournament, scheduled for July 9-12, has been canceled. It is set to return to the PGA TOUR schedule in 2021 with its 50th playing.

As a result of this decision, the PGA TOUR announced that it will fill the week vacated by the John Deere Classic with a new tournament. The TOUR will provide details in the near future on the venue and location.

“Because of the ongoing health and safety concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic, the difficult decision was made to cancel the 2020 John Deere Classic,” said tournament director Clair Peterson. “While we considered several alternatives for the Classic, this was the choice that made the most sense for our guests, the players and the Quad City community at large.”

“We understand and respect that the Quad Cities market has dynamics and challenges that prevent the playing of the John Deere Classic in 2020,” said Andy Pazder, PGA TOUR Chief Tournaments and Competitions Officer. “As we’ve seen through the years, the community support for the John Deere Classic is unwavering and I have no doubt the event will return stronger than ever in its 50th playing in 2021.”

Despite the cancellation, the John Deere Classic will continue its Birdies for Charity fundraiser for 2020. Last year, $13.8 million was generated in support of 543 local and regional charity organizations, bringing the tournament’s all-time total to $120 million since the first playing in 1971. Ninety-nine percent of that has come since John Deere assumed title sponsorship in 1998.

This year’s John Deere Classic would have been the Quad Cities’ 50th PGA TOUR event and the 21st played at TPC Deere Run. Dylan Frittelli is the defending champion.

 

Author: Michael Shamburger

Michael is the founder and Editor in Chief of The Stiff Shaft. He is also the Senior Editor of Golfweek Custom Media and covers the World Long Drive for Golf Channel. He has 9+ years of covering golf, is an LSU fan, and prefers to hit driver-wedge as often as possible.