SILVIS, Ill. — 50 years of the John Deere Classic means countless fans have walked the course through the years, but how many can say they’ve been here for all 50 tournaments in the Quad Cities?
The Rock Island native has been at every Quad Cities PGA Tournament since they started in 1971.
And to make his 50th year on the course even more special, 2021 marks his 80th birthday.
“I just love golf I guess,” he said.
Year after year he follows his favorites, and he knows a thing or two about TPC Deere Run.
“Hole three’s the worst.”
With experience as a caddie under his belt as well.
Not only does he enjoy the tournament for himself, but he has introduced it to his son, Eric. He grew up going to the tournament with his dad.
He even bonded over the tournament with his cousin, Jay Larson, who passed away in 1999.
“We'd come and practically open the gates in the morning and close them up at night,” he said.
He says as long as he’s able to, he’ll keep coming to the John Deere Classic.
"It's just kind of like it's in my blood,” he said. “When the tournament comes, everything else stops and for this week, everybody knows where I'll be."
And being at all 50 tournament years isn’t even his biggest claim to fame. For fun he once walked and played 102 holes at the course out in Aledo, carrying his clubs the entire time.
Also, Tom volunteers at the John Deere Classic, and has for the last 15 years. He works at the chipping greens and said he’ll keep it up for as long as he can.