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July 2014

Top Story: John Deere Classic: From Humble Beginnings...

Author: Len Ziehm

The John Deere Classic wasn’t even called the John Deere Classic early on. Illinois’ only visit from the PGA Tour in 2014 had a modest start. For its debut in 1971, it was called the Quad Cities Open and was only a satellite event on the circuit.

That first event was played on the 6,501-yard Crow Valley Country Club course in Bettendorf, Iowa. Deane Beman, later to become the PGA Tour commissioner, took home a check for $5,000 for winning the event, and Crow Valley got the attention of some prospective homebuyers who purchased property around the course.

Things didn’t change much the next year. Beman won again (though this time his check was for $20,000), and there....