John Deere Classic canceled; PGA Tour plans to schedule replacement event

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The PGA Tour’s revamped summer schedule won’t include the John Deere Classic.

Tournament officials announced Thursday that the event, slated for July 9-12 at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois, will not be played this year.

“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,” tournament director Clair Peterson said in a statement. “While we considered several alternatives to the Classic, this was the choice that made the most sense for our guests, the players and the Quad City community at large.”

The tournament was expected to be the fifth Tour event following a three-month hiatus stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and was penciled in as the first that could have potentially included fans. Instead, the event won’t be played at all because of ongoing restrictions in the state of Illinois banning gatherings of more than 50 people, limitations that are expected to remain in place by tournament week.

But the spot on the schedule won’t remain empty for long. The Tour added a statement announcing its plans to fill the vacated spot on the schedule with a new event, with details expected “in the near future on venue and location.” The Deere will return to the schedule in 2021, meaning that any replacement event would be for this year only.

According to an ESPN report, Tour officials are exploring TPC Sawgrass as a potential replacement venue. Located near Tour headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, the Stadium Course was the site of the last competitive Tour event, as The Players was canceled after the opening round on March 12. The adjacent Valley Course is expected to host the first Korn Ferry Tour event following the coronavirus hiatus June 11-14.

The John Deere Classic has been an annual Tour staple since its inception in 1972, with a list of past champions that includes Payne Stewart, David Toms, Vijay Singh, Steve Stricker, Zach Johnson and Jordan Spieth. Last year Dylan Frittelli earned his first Tour title at Deere Run over Russell Henley.