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Silvis Mayor has special connection to Quad City golf history

SILVIS, Illinois – It's the Quad City that takes the center stage during the John Deere Classic.

Silvis is in the spotlight for the city, getting attention every year that few communities would ever get.

It's not lost on Silvis' mayor.

"I'm living proof of the greatness of what happens at this tournament," admitted Mayor Matt Carter.

"I went to the Juniors Clinic years ago and my first golf club was handed to me by Roger Maltby."

Matt Carter remembers his PGA history.

It was at the 1975 Ed McMahon Jaycees Quad Cities Open when Roger Maltby won, the first year the tournament was held at Oakwood Country Club in Coal Valley.

He's now the mayor of the city that hosts the John Deere Classic: Silvis, Illinois.

"If somebody asks, 'Where are you from?' I say Silvis, Illinois and they go 'Where is that?' and I say 'Home of the John Deere Classic' and they say 'Oh, I know exactly where that is'."

And the benefits run from the course to the downtown.

The mayor says Silvis sees a 20% bump in sales tax collections every year from the Classic.

And then there's the marketing.

The city puts the golf tournament and its Hero Street military monument at the forefront of its publicity.

"And it also helps with our branding, 'Heroes and Champions'," said Mayor Carter.

And for the Mayor, the long history of the tournament makes for a pretty good excuse.

Remember, he got that first golf club from Roger Maltby.

"Any time I'm late for a meeting and it's because of golf, I blame Roger Maltby for that one."