John Deere Classic see dates change for 2021-22
The PGA Tour announced its tournament dates for the 2021-22 wraparound season on Tuesday and it meant a major change in tradition for golf in Illinois.
Illinois' only annual PGA Tour event, the John Deere Classic, had been held the week before the British Open every year since 2004 with the exception of 2016, when the JDC was played concurrently with the Olympic Games in Brazil.
Next year JDC Week is June 27 to July 3. The tourney is only one week earlier than usual but the change has a major impact. It marks the first time in the tourney's 50-year history that it'll have dates two weeks before the British.
Now the tourney at TPC Deere Run, in Silvis, will be played on the same Fourth of July Weekend that was a popular date for the Western Open. That history-rich event was dropped by the Western Golf Association after the 2006 playing at Cog Hill, in Palos Park, and replaced by the BMW Championship, which is part of the season-ending FedEx Cup Playoffs.
"We're very excited the 2022 John Deere Classic will be played two weeks before the Open Championship," said JDC director Clair Peterson. "The new dates will give us the opportunity to attract players who otherwise might not have considered the John Deere Classic because they felt the need to travel to the United Kingdom the week before the (British) Open. Now we have a chance to attract those players."
Peterson took the novel step of hiring a jet that would take JDC players directly to the British Open site a few hours after the last putt dropped at TPC Deere Run. That move improved the JDC field in recent years, and now the jet -- and the expense that went with it -- won't be needed.
The JDC, which celebrated its 50th anniversary when Lucas Glover won the title last month, was impacted by the British since 1999. It was played the week after the British from 1999-2002.
This week's schedule announcement was part of the Strategic Alliance announced in November 2020 to streamline relationships between the PGA and European tours.
The BMW Championship will retain its same August dates in 2022 but will be played away from the Chicago area again. Next year Wilmington Country Club in Delaware will be the site, marking the first time the PGA Tour has held a tournament in that state.
• Illinois Golf Hall of Famer Len Ziehm is on the "Golfers on Golf Radio 820" show at 4 p.m. Saturdays. He co-hosts the "Ziehm & Spears Golf Podcast Series" on social media. Past columns are at lenziehmongolf.com.