The highest finisher in the John Deere Classic not already qualified for the British Open will earn a place in the 2004 major at Royal Troon in Scotland, tournament organizers said Monday.
The exemption is possible because of a scheduling change starting next year that will put the tournament the week before the British Open from 2004 through 2006.
Since the Quad City event joined the PGA Tour in 1971, it had been scheduled during or after the British Open. The 2004 Deere Classic will be played July 8-11, with the British Open on July 15-18.
The move is part of new qualifying rules that will be implemented for the British Open beginning next year.
Along with the Deere Classic exemption, the British Open for the first time will have five international qualifying events in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and the United States.
At least 12 golfers will earn spots in the British Open during the U.S. qualifier, scheduled for next June at Congressional Country Club in suburban Washington.
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