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Virgen's Views: Toshiba turns 20, remains great

There are simple, yet vast ways to describe the Toshiba Classic.

It's known as one of the favorite, if not the best, stop for the players on the Champions Tour.

Who wouldn't want to play golf in Newport Beach? Yet this is the only pro tournament in Orange County.

The event has garnered so much prestige that a wall of fame was built at Newport Beach Country Club, where the tournament takes place.

Certainly there are plenty of memories from the Toshiba Classic, which this year is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Those wonderful, colorful memories have made the tournament so great.

Yet the tournament staff, the volunteers and the pros have also played key roles for the Toshiba Classic's success.

Back in the day, they referred to the players as seniors on the Senior Tour. Now they are champions. They really are.

Many of the players are personable, down-to-earth. If you think they're rude, they are really just aloof, and that might just come from a tough round on the course.

The layout at Newport Beach Country Club is known as one of the shortest in length on the Champions Tour. But those tricky greens can challenge the greatest of the champions.

When it comes to the Toshiba Clasasic, what is your favorite memory?

Did it come in 1997? That was when Bob Murphy ended a nine-hole playoff against Jay Sigel with an 80-foot-birdie putt on Newport Beach Country Club's famed No. 17.

Or how about 2005? In that year, Mark "Beer Man" Johnson captivated the Toshiba Classic crowd with his his background as a beer truck driver for 18 years. He deserved a nice, cold one after his clinched his victory with an eagle from 91 yards out on No. 18.

A lot of drama could be found on the 18th at Newport Beach Country Club.

Yet my favorite highlight came from Fred Couples' victory in 2010.

There wasn't a dramatic finish, as Couples won by four strokes. But it was just the way he went about winning. So cool. So Couples. It was an absolute treat.

There are sure to be more memories created in the 20th edition of the Toshiba Classic and the years ahead.

Schedule of events


9:00 a.m

Gates Open

11:00 a.m.

Monday Pro-Am Shotgun Start


7:00 a.m.

Breakfast with a Champion presented by The Allergan Foundation (at Balboa Bay Resort) The 2014 special guest will be announced at a later date.

6:30 p.m.

Classic Pro-Am Pairings Party (by invitation only) (at Balboa Bay Resort)


6:00 a.m.

Gates Open

7:30 a.m.

Morning Shotgun for Classic Pro-Am

1:00 p.m.

Afternoon Shotgun for Classic Pro-Am


6:00 a.m.

Gates Open

7:30 a.m.

Morning Shotgun for Classic Pro-Am

1:00 p.m.

Afternoon Shotgun for Classic Pro-Am

1:45 p.m.

Women's Business Day, presented by Merrill Lynch, UPS, LifeScript.com, California Therapy Solutions and Toshiba Featuring World Golf Hall of Fame Member and LPGA Legend Amy Alcott


9:00 a.m.

Gates Open

11:30 a.m. (approx.)

Toshiba Classic Round 1


9:00 a.m.

Gates Open

11:30 a.m. (approx.)

Toshiba Classic Round 2


9:00 a.m.

Gates Open

11:30 a.m. (approx.)

Toshiba Classic Round 3

6:00 p.m. (approx.)

Awards Ceremony on the 18th Green

Past champions

2013 – David Frost

2012 – Loren Roberts

2011 – Nick Price

2010 – Fred Couples

2009 – Eduardo Romero

2008 – Bernhard Langer

2007 – Jay Haas

2006 – Brad Bryant

2005 – Mark Johnson

2004 – Tom Purtzer

2003 – Rodger Davis

2001 – Jose Maria Canizares

2000 – Allen Doyle

1999 – Gary McCord

1998 & 2002 – Hale Irwin

1997 – Bob Murphy

1996 – Jim Colbert

1995 – George Archer

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