The John Deere Classic celebrated 50 years this year. There’s plenty of history behind one of the Quad Cities biggest sporting events.

Craig DeVrieze has covered the tournament for 35 years and recently authored the 50th Anniversary book – MAGIC HAPPENED. He shared some of the stories that have shaped the tournament into what it is today.

That time(s) the John Deere Classic almost folded

The JDC has been a success in the Quad Cities, but it hasn’t always been that way. There were some pivotal moments early on that could have led to the tournament going away entirely.

The evolution of the event

Before John Deere took over as title sponsor of the tournament, it was very different. There was no television network coverage or matching tents. A far cry from the polished event it is today.

Best golf moments

A number of champions and even a couple G.O.A.Ts have walked the fairways of the JDC. That has made for some great moments on the course, including improbable chips from bunkers and historic wins.