College player of the year Caitlin Clark, the shining light of Iowa women’s basketball and a hard-core golf enthusiast, will play in the John Deere Classic Pro-Am on Wednesday, July 5, in a group anchored by fellow Iowa native and current U.S. Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson, tournament officials announced Thursday.
Clark will play with Johnson and three other amateurs at TPC Deere Run, home of the John Deere Classic, according to tournament director Andrew Lehman. After her round Clark will participate in the tournament’s popular annual Youth Clinic at 3 p.m. at the driving range.
“We are thrilled to be able to bring our fans the opportunity to see Caitlin Clark and Zach Johnson, two Iowa sports heroes, play in the John Deere Classic Pro-Am at TPC Deere Run,” Lehman said. “Zach has been the face of the tournament for many years and Caitlin’s presence will bring a jolt of electricity to the grounds and help us introduce youngsters and non-golf fans to this great game.”
A native of Des Moines, Clark, 21, is the Hawkeyes’ 6-foot point guard who won the Naismith Women’s College Player of the Year award along with countless other accolades that honor her extraordinary performance last season. Among those: the Wooden Award National Player of the Year, Associated Press Women’s College Basketball Player of the Year, U.S. Basketball Writers Association Player of the Year, The Athletic National Player of the Year Award and Academic All-American of the Year.
In addition to being this year’s Ryder Cup captain, the 5-foot 9-inch Johnson, 47, originally from Cedar Rapids, is a 12-time PGA Tour winner, including two major championships, the 2007 Masters and the 2015 British Open at St. Andrews. A multiple-time player and Ryder Cup vice-captain, Johnson will lead the U.S. team in the Ryder Cup to be played in Rome in September. Johnson, who played his college golf at Drake, is an enthusiastic supporter of Iowa Hawkeyes sports and served as an honorary captain of the football team in 2015. He is a virtual shoo-in for the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Tickets for the tournament, including the Wednesday Pro-Am, can be purchased here. Youngsters 15 and under are free with a paid adult.
The 52nd edition of the Quad Cities-based PGA Tour event will be conducted July 5-9 at TPC Deere Run in Silvis with J.T. Poston as defending champion. In a wire-to-wire victory, Poston won by three shots in 2022 with a 21-under par total for the 72-hole event. The tournament will offer a $7.4 million purse, an increase of $300,000, The John Deere Classic, which includes Birdies for Charity, is a 501(C)3 non-profit organization located in the John Deere Classic tournament offices at 15623 Coaltown Road, East Moline, Illinois. Since its founding in 1971, the tournament has helped raise more than $159.57 million for charity