The British Open is the next stop for many players in the field at the John Deere Classic, and tournament director Clair Peterson decided 10 years ago to make that easier for them.
The British Open is always the week after the PGA Tournament in the Quad Cities. Peterson says that they were having trouble drawing big names, because no one wanted the extra travel and hassle from one tournament into the other.
In 2007, only seven players went to the British Open from the JDC, and they lost their luggage. That’s when Peterson decided to offer a private charter across the pond.
“We’re always trying to improve our product and and part of our product presentation is the strength of the field,” said Peterson. “So getting these highly ranked players to the event and getting them in a hassle free fashion over to the Open has made a big difference.”
They started offering the charter as an option in 2008. Since then, 20-25 players take the jet over to Manchester Airport. This year, the jet seats recline all the way flat for easier sleeping on the overnight flight.
Peterson says he believes 18 players are signed up to take the charter this year, plus whoever wins the JDC. The winner automatically gets an exemption to the Open.
The jet leaves at 8 p.m. after the John Deere Classic ends on Sunday, and lands in the United Kingdom before noon on Monday.