First round of JDC tees off Thursday morning

By Ashley Richmond |

Published 07/10 2014 09:15AM

Updated 07/10 2014 09:40AM

The world's best golfers invade the Quad Cities as the first round of the John Deere classic tees off Thursday morning.

This year's JDC tournament will be as competitive as ever, as more than 150 golfers hit the course for the first round.

Tournament officials say there's a strong field this year, and 29 tournament winners from the past two seasons will be playing in this year's competition.

Last year's champ, 20-year-old Jordan Spieth, is back to defend the title.

His unexpected but incredible win in the 2013 playoff earned him another title: the youngest winner on the PGA tour in 82 years.

But don't forget about Zach Johnson, the Iowa native and fan favorite who won two years ago.

Zach Johnson tees off this morning at 7:30 AM Thursday.

Also taking part, three-time JDC champ Steve Stricker, and major championship winners Stewart Cink, Davis Love III and Retief Goosen.

A Wisconsin native, Stricker won the tournament in 2009, '10 and '11, and he's hungry to earn back the title.

Spieth and Stricker will tee off together with former British Open winner Stewart Cink at 12:45.

Tournament coordinators say that on top of all the great talent, having all eyes in the quad cities focused on this tournament makes the experience one of a kind.

"Having people out here, clapping for the good shots and saying thank you, recognizing their abilities by being out here as a fan is really important and it keeps them coming back,” Clair Peterson, JDC Tournament Director.

The first round of the John Deere Classic tees off at 7:00 AM Thursday.

Stay with us for all the latest tournament updates on CBS4 News and here on our website.

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