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Early field expands for 2013 John Deere Classic

Zach Johnson

Defending champion Zach Johnson and more than a dozen British Open contestants are already committed to play in the 2013 John Deere Classic.

Three-time champion Steve Stricker has also committed to play in the 2013 tournament, and 2006 JDC champion John Senden, 2007 JDC champion Jonathan Byrd and 2005 JDC champion Sean O’Hair are in this year’s field.

2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen committed to this year’s John Deere Classic, as have Carl Petterson, 2012 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year John Huh, and former British Open champions John Daly and David Duval.

Brian Davis of England, former Illini Luke Guthrie, Robert Karlsson of Swedon, Josh Teater and Johnson Wagner are committed to the John Deere Classic and have also qualified to play at Muirfield in Scotland.

PGA tour winners and highly-ranked players also committed to this year’s John Deere Classic include Boo Weekley, Kevin Streelman, D.A. Points, Derek Ernst, Sang-Moon Bae, Nick Watney, Bo Van Pelt, Charles Howell III, Ben Crane and Mark Wilson.  Charlie Wi, Richard H. Lee, Jin Park, Chad Campbell, Ricky Barnes, Andres Romero (of Argentina), rookie Eric Meierdierks and 2012 runner-up Troy Matteson will also play in the 2013 John Deere Classic.

In addition to Cedar Rapids native Zach Johnson, tournament organizers said Todd Hamilton, the former British Open champion from Oquawka, Illinois and University of Iowa golfer Steven Ihm of Peosta, Iowa are in the field.  Ihm accepted a sponsor exemption to join this year’s field.

Joe Affrunti and Scott Langley committed to play, joining fellow University of Illinois alumni Stricker, Guthrie and Points.

The 2013 John Deere Classic is set for July 8 to 14, 2013 at TPC Deere Run.  Players have until 5 p.m. the Friday before the tournament to commit to the John Deere Classic.  A field of 156 players is expected for the 2013 tournament, with a purse of $4.6 million.  The winner will received $828,000.