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2012 John Deere Classic champion Zach Johnson tees off at the Pro-Am Wednesday.
Lacy Scarmana / WVIK News

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.

Zach Johnson addresses the media during the 2013 John Deere Classic.
Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

Zach Johnson arrived at TPC Deere Run this week with the John Deere logo on his golf bag.

The Cedar Rapids native is the Deere brand ambassador and says the John Deere Classic is special to him. It's where he earned his first two tournament sponsor exemptions.

WVIK News / WVIK News

The Quad Cities River Bandits and Houston Astros will continue working together. Tusday officials from both teams announced they'd signed a two-year extension of their current player development agreement.

It now runs through 2018.Astros General Manager, Jeff Luhnow, says he's very happy with their Class-A affiliate, and the players it's been developing.

Luhnow says along with player development, the Astros like Modern Woodmen Park, strong attendance here that helps prepare their players for larger stadiums, and because they can find housing and host families for the players each season.

The First Tee is hoping to attact more girls to golf.
First Tee Quad Cities / Facebook

The John Deere Foundation is extending its support for a youth golf program that teaches leadership skills.

Over the next five years, the foundation will donate nearly $625,000 to The First Tee. The national program teaches core values such as responsibility and integrity, and the contribution will help attract girls to golf.

While about 150 golfers tee off this week at the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run, nearly 500 Quad Cities charities will vie for dollars from the community.

Birdies for Charity started as a way for donors to pledge cents for birdies.

JD Classic Week Begins

Aug 8, 2016

The John Deere Classic will be held this week, about a month later than usual because of the Olympics.

Events get underway Monday in Silvis at TPC Deere Run with the John Deere Golf Pro-Am, followed on Tuesday by Youth Day, including a Youth Clinic. The John Deere Classic Pro-Am is set for Wednesday.

Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

On Midwest Week, golf debuts at the summer Olympics and what that means for the John Deere Classic.

Michelle O'Neill, sitting in for Herb Trix, talks with Tom Johnston, sports reporter at the Dispatch and Rock Island Argus.

Map of streets to be closed for Bix weekend
submitted / Davenport Police Department

It's Bix weekend with the Quad City Times Bix 7 Road Race and Downtown Davenport's Street Fest.

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