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Bubba Watson commits to play John Deere Classic

Bubba Watson has confirmed his place at the John Deere Classic, set to be played between 13-16 July at TPC Deere Run next week.

The last time Bubba played this event, he only had a single PGA Tour victory under his belt. However, eight wins later (including two Green Jackets) he’s heading back to the Quad-Cities.

Watson sent out a quick tweet that simply read: “Can’t wait!” as the news of his involvement began unfolding.

Watson won the Masters in 2012 and 2014. In January, he was 10th in the Official World Golf Rankings. But, after just three top-10 finishes in 13 events this season, including missed cuts at the Masters, The Players Championship and US Open, Watson has dipped to a disappointing 41st.

“It did surprise me a bit,” John Deere Classic tournament director Clair Peterson said of Watson’s commitment. “I talked to Bubba earlier in the year. He’s come here four times and we’ve developed a nice relationship, but at that point I didn’t get any indication we were on the radar.

“Oftentimes that early in the year, guys haven't thought that far out into the schedule.”

Peterson received a call from Watson’s agent on Monday saying he was looking to add more events to his schedule and inquired about the non-stop jet service to the British Open. Five hours after that conversation, the agent called Peterson again and confirmed the 38-year-old would be in the field.

Watson missed the cut the last time he played the JDC in 2010. His best finish in the Quad-Cities is a tie for 17th in 2006.

“It means everything to have players in our field who have won major championships, played on international teams and have the name recognition like Bubba does,” Peterson said. “The casual golf fan certainly recognizes that.

“The neat thing about Bubba, he’s always been known as a carefree soul and a big hitter, emotional at times. People love that. In some ways, it is like John Daly.

“Bubba’s appeal as a person and his success on the course is a wonderful addition to our field.

“We’re going to have a great show either way,” Peterson added. “We’re going to have 156 world class players here with a lot of terrific resumes.”

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