Tom Watson, Corey Pavin, John Cook and Mark O’Meara have committed to compete in the 2011 Toshiba Classic, scheduled March 7 through 13 at Newport Beach Country Club.
Watson, Pavin and Cook posted their best Toshiba Classic finishes in 2010, all placing in the top seven. Watson fired the best round of the 2010 Classic with a final-round 62 that enabled him to jump 24 spots on the leaderboard and tie for fifth place. Pavin, a Classic rookie in 2010, and Cook tied for seventh. O’Meara, who spent his formative years in golf as a teen in Mission Viejo, finished runner-up at the 2009 Toshiba Classic.
Watson, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, owns 39 PGA Tour titles. His PGA highlights include wins at the 1977 and 1981 Masters, the 1982 U.S. Open and the 1975, 1977, 1980, 1982 and 1983 British Open. He has 13 Champions Tour titles, including majors such as the Senior PGA Championship (2001), the Senior British Open (2003, 2005 and 2007) and the JELD-WEN Tradition (2003).
Pavin is a 15-time PGA Tour winner and the 1995 U.S. Open champion. The former NCAA Player of the Year at UCLA made eight starts on last year’s PGA Tour and was runner-up via a playoff in the Travelers Championship. He finished runner-up twice in 15 Champions Tour starts last year, including a second at the Senior British Open.
Pavin captained the 2010 United States Ryder Cup team, having played for the U.S. squad in 1991, 1993 and 1995, and played on the 1994 and 1996 U.S. Presidents Cup teams. He was the PGA Tour’s Arnold Palmer Award winner (leading money-winner) in 1991. He also won the Junior World Amateur title at age 17.
Cook, a Corona del Mar resident, owns 11 PGA Tour and five Champions Tour titles. In 2010, Cook made 25 Champions Tour starts, winning the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship for the second consecutive year, placing runner-up three times and finishing third in four other events. Cook finished third on the Champions Tour money list for the second consecutive year, and placed No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, in the Charles Schwab Cup points standings in 2009 and 2010.
O’Meara, a former Costa Mesa City Championship winner, is a 16-time PGA Tour winner and the 1998 Masters and 1998 British Open champion. He broke through to win his first two Champions Tour events last year, including a major at the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship. The 1998 PGA Tour Player of the Year, five-time U.S. Ryder Cup (1985, 1989, 1991, 1997, 1999) and two-time Presidents Cup (1996, 1998) player began playing golf when he moved to Orange County at 13. He attended Mission Viejo High, was an All-American at Long Beach State, and won the 1979 California State and U.S. Amateurs.
“We sincerely appreciate the commitments we have already received from Tom, Corey, John and Mark,” Toshiba Classic Executive Director Jeff Purser said in a statement. “Those standing to benefit most from this are our golf fans. I don’t know if there is a greater golf legend playing on the Champions Tour than Tom Watson.”
The $1.7 million Toshiba Classic, the only Southern California event on the Champions Tour, awards a $255,000 winner’s check and is televised on Golf Channel.
Daily tickets are $20 if purchased before tournament week, or $25 at the gate. Season patron badges, providing admission to the grounds and clubhouse for practice rounds and the tournament, are $100. Daily patron tickets, providing access to the grounds and the clubhouse on a single day, are $40. All tickets can be obtained at https://www.ToshibaClassic.com. For tickets and corporate packages, phone (949) 660-1001.