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Collegiate stars get invites to John Deere Classic

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The John Deere Classic is continuing its tradition of offering up sponsor invites to potential future stars by giving four high-profile college players starts in this year's event.

Recently announced Jack Nicklaus Award winner Norman Xiong (Oregon), NCAA individual champion Broc Everett (Augusta), No. 1-ranked amatuer Doug Ghim (Texas), and two-time Big 10 Player of the Year Nick Hardy (Illinois) will compete at TPC Deere Run, July 12-15. Hardy played last year, making the cut and tying for 55th.

“In the past we’ve given sponsor exemptions to some elite young players who have gone on to win major championships, but I don’t think we ever have invited as strong a class as we have this year,” said John Deere Classic tournament director Clair Peterson in a statement. “It’s a tradition that the John Deere Classic established many years ago and this year the tradition continues in a big way.”

Past sponsor invites have included: Jordan Spieth, who has twice won this event; Bryson DeChambeau, who won last year; Zach Johnson, the 2012 champ; Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Jason Day, Patrick Reed, Matt Kuchar and Aaron Wise.