Jonathan Byrd rallied from behind last year to win the John Deere Classic by a stroke over Tim Clark. Byrd's win was his third on the PGA TOUR and stopped a string of three straight first-time winners at this event.
Overall, six of the last nine winners here have been first-timers. Eighteen times in event history was there a first-time champ. The last three first- time winners -- John Senden, Sean O'Hair and Mark Hensby -- are all in the field this week.
The prize for the top finisher already not qualified for the British Open is a trip to Royal Birkdale. The last winner not to take the trip across the pond was Hensby in 2004.
After him, O'Hair tied for 15th in his first British Open appearance, then Senden tied for 35th and Byrd shared 23rd place the week after winning this event.
This is the fourth straight year this event is being played the week prior to the British.
TPC at Deere Run has been the host of this event since 2001 after the tournament spent 25 years at Oakwood Country Club.
GOLF CHANNEL will carry three hours of action the first two days before CBS does the same on the weekend.
There are two PGA TOUR events next week. First and foremost is the British Open Championship, where Padraig Harrington claimed his first major last year in a playoff win over Sergio Garcia.
The other event is the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee, where Joe Ogilvie won last year.