Spieth, Thomas, Rodgers gain Deere spots

Jordan Spieth during the U.S. Open sectional qualifier at Lakewood Country Club in Dallas, Texas.

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1Cheng Tsung PanWashington  66.95 
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Jordan Spieth, Alabama junior Justin Thomas and Stanford junior Patrick Rodgers received sponsor exemptions into the John Deere Classic to be played July 11-14 at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill.

Spieth, who turned professional in January midway through his sophomore year at Texas, gets an exemption for the second consecutive year. Spieth has five top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour in 2013, including a runner-up at the Puerto Rico Open.

Thomas, who is playing this week's Travelers Championship on a sponsor exemption, will be making his Deere debut. Thomas was part of the Crimson Tide's 2013 NCAA national champions. He won the 2012 Haskins Award and has a stroke average of 70.72 in two years at Alabama.

Rodgers played in last year's John Deere Classic on a sponsor exemption. He ended his sophomore year No. 9 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings. He finished his college season with three victories and a 70.9 stroke average for the Cardinal.

Thomas and Rodgers were finalists for the Ben Hogan Award this year.

Recent Iowa graduate Steven Ihm already had received a sponsor exemption. Ihm recently won the Sunnehanna Amateur.

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