The John Deere Classic continues to rack up honors for the way it runs the tournament in Silvis. Last week, the PGA Tour announced the classic came in first in the Most Engaged Community.
Michelle O'Neill reports it's the fourth time the local tournament has won that category. It was also first in social media.
Jon Krakower works in the PGA Tour's Business Affairs Department. He says last summer's tournament set an attendance record, added 24 new sponsors, and increased the number of volunteers by 300. Birdies for Charity also set a record, raising 8.7 million dollars, 38 percent higher than last year. In addition, 488 non-profits in northwestern Illinois and eastern Iowa received contributions from 20,000 donors.
The PGA Tour also honored the Deere Classic with the top award for “Best Social Media Activation.” Krakower says its Facebook page has been in the top spot for over a year, with more than 109,000 fans. He says it's remarkable because many tournaments are held in big cities.
The 2015 John Deere Classic benefited from great weather and Bill Murray's appearance in the Pro-Am. It also didn't hurt that two-time winner, Jordan Spieth, is very popular outside golf circles. And that Deere & Co. will be the title sponsor for another 7 years.