July 7, 2014
MILAN, Ill. -- University of Iowa men's golfer Raymond Knoll has qualified for the PGA TOUR's John Deere Classic after tying for first place at the John Deere Classic Open Qualifier at Pinnacle Country Club in Milan, Illinois. Knoll fired a seven-under-par 65 on Monday to tie Armando Villarreal of Dallas, Texas, to earn one of four qualifying spots.
Knoll earned PING All-Region honors as a freshman in 2014. The Naperville, Illinois, native registered his best finish of the season at the Boilermaker Invitational, where he tied for sixth (215, +4). In his final round of play at the event, Knoll carded a 66 (-6), which equaled the fourth-lowest round in program history, as Iowa rallied to earn the team title. Knoll tied for 12th at the Big Ten Championships (300, +12), placed 15th at the Hawkeye-GRE Invitational (220, +4), and tied for 26th at the NCAA Columbia Regional (216, E).
"I cannot even put into words how exciting this is and how unbelievable it feels to have this opportunity," Knoll said. "I always tell my dad that I just want that one opportunity to play on the big stage and see what I can do. I am thrilled for this opportunity."
Knoll will join former Hawkeyes Steven Ihm (2012-14) and Aaron Krueger (2001-03) in the John Deere Classic field. Ihm, who competed in the event last year, will make his professional PGA TOUR debut.
Knoll also won the Pine Hills Invitational in early June of this year.
University of Iowa day is Thursday at the John Deere Classic. Fans attending the event are encouraged to wear black and gold.
The 2014 John Deere Classic, held at the Tournament Players Club (TPC) Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois, marks the 44th annual PGA TOUR event in the Quad Cities and the 16th year for John Deere as the title sponsor. This year's tournament, which features a purse of $4,700,000 and a winning share of $846,000, runs from July 8-13.