Flight to British Open attracts players to John Deere

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It is interesting that amid a wave of questions and concerns regarding unconfirmed reports that Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson received appearance fees to play last week’s Greenbrier Classic, one tournament director has tried to woo players to his event using a slightly less expensive option.

In what has become something of a winged tradition, Clair Peterson, the longtime tournament director of this week’s John Deere Classic, has arranged a chartered 767 that will fly players from Silvis, Ill., to Manchester, England, for next week’s British Open.

The direct flight features 100 first-class seats for players bound for the season’s third major championship that leaves the United States at 8 p.m. on Sunday and arrives in the United Kingdom at 10 a.m. on Monday. The same charter will be used to fly players from the Open Championship to the following week’s Canadian Open.

Stewart Cink committed (to the John Deere Classic) on the last day and his first question was, ‘Is there room on the charter?’” Peterson said.

For the trip players donate $1,250 to one of the John Deere Classic’s charities, a small price to pay for a direct flight and assurances that “Air Deere” has never lost any player’s luggage.