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Sports

Former Champs Return To JD Classic, Pro-Am

For the first time in the history of the John Deere Classic, the defending champion is not returning to defend his title — or play in Wednesday's Pro-Am. But plenty of former champs are in the Quad Cities to compete.

Last year's winner Jordan Spieth decided not to play at the Olympics, then also opted out of playing in the Quad Cities this week.

Three-time Deere Classic champion Steve Stricker played Wednesday in the Pro-Am. He says the course is in unbelievable condition, and the tournament has a hometown feel that many other stops on the PGA tour have lost.

2012 winner Zach Johnson golfed with Deere and Company CEO Sam Allen's foursome in the Pro-Am.

Stricker, Johnson and 2014 champion Brian Harman will tee off Thursday morning at 8:20 at TPC Deere Run in Silvis.

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