A charter flight has made all the difference for the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic near the Quad Cities. At one time it was a tournament that players taking part in the British Open the following week avoided. That all changed in 2008 when the tournament began offering a charter flight “across the pond”.

Now, many of the biggest names in golf are playing in the tournament and traveling in style. Tournament director Clair Peterson says so many of the players are now at the tournament because they know they can win a PGA event and get to the third major in a “hassle free” way and be rested. He says it completely changed the tournament field.

“As soon as they qualified for the British, they say ‘I’m really sorry but I won’t be able to play this year.’ We only had 7 players in ’07, the last year before the charter, and they went over to Heathrow and lost their luggage,” Peterson says.

He says the charter is a big selling point and it allows them to stay where they are on the calendar and get the players to the British Open. Zach Johnson is the defending champion of the John Deere Classic which tees off on July 11th.