John Deere Classic will send 3 players to the British Open
The John Deere Classic -- Illinois' only annual PGA Tour event -- was moved up a week on the circuit's 2022 calendar to June 27 through July 3, making it opposite the Fourth of July weekend, and that's not all.
In recent years the JDC chartered a jet to take its players directly to the following week's British Open. The earlier spot in the schedule makes that unnecessary, as players will have more time to get to the year's final major championship, but more will have the opportunity to play in the British next year by doing well at TPC Deere Run in Silvis.
The top JDC finisher among the top five finishers not previously qualified for the British Open were given a spot in the field in previous years. In 2022 that opportunity will be awarded to three players from the top 10. No such exemptions were offered in 2021 due to pandemic concerns but Jordan Spieth (2013) and Bryson DeChambeau (2017) were recipients in the past.
JDC executive director Clair Peterson also announced the charity payoff from last year's 50th anniversary playing of the tournament. It raised $12,568,038 for 470 local charities in the Quad Cities area.
• Chicago golf organizing groups rarely announce the following year's event schedule until the spring, but the Chicago District Golf Association broke with tradition and unveiled an 86-event schedule complete with the sites for 2022. There are 55 on the championship slate and 31 on the social side.
Key dates and sites are July 19 to 21 for the 91st Illinois State Amateur, to be played at Westmoreland in Wilmette, and June 27 to 30 for the 102nd Chicago District Amateur, to be played at Glen Flora in Waukegan.
The CDGA is also coming out with a commemorative yardage book, this one a coffee table version produced by PuttView Books of Delaware, listing its Dream Eighteen holes. Olympia Fields, with its Nos. 2 and 6 chosen, is the only course with more than one hole honored in the voting by CDGA members.
Here and there: The Bridges of Poplar Creek, an 18-holer in Hoffman Estates, had a soft opening in December for its new Toptracer Range and will reopen in March. It features 10 covered, heated hitting bays. ... Fox Run Golf Course, an 18-hole facility in Elk Grove, has three simulators featuring more than 85 courses. It is open every day with fees from $35 to $45. ... Tony Anderson, a Chicago Golf Club member, has been nominated for a second three-year term on the U.S. Golf Association's Executive Board. The election is Feb. 19 at the USGA's annual meeting in California. ... Tristyn Nowlin, a stalwart on the University of Illinois women's teams and the reigning Illinois Women's Open champion, missed getting her LPGA playing privileges by 2 strokes at last month's finals of the circuit's qualifying tournament in Dothan, Ala. ... Inverness Golf Club is getting a grounds makeover with the addition of resort-like facilities. Paddle and pickleball courts, indoor golf simulators, a sports par and casual dining room are under construction at the private club.
• Illinois Golf Hall of Famer Len Ziehm co-hosts the "Ziehm & Spears Golf Podcast Series" on social media. Past columns are at lenziehmongolf.com.