Hopkins fights nerves

NEWPORT BEACH — Just because you're Greg Hopkins and you're the CEO of Cleveland Golf does not mean the equipment that you use will help you out on a golf course.

The Newport Beach resident is dead last after the first day of the Toshiba Classic on Friday. He called his 11-over-par 82 his worst round on the Champions Tour event at Newport Beach Country Club.

"Long day," Hopkins said after walking off the last hole. "Terrible putting day."

Being familiar with the course at Newport Beach Country Club did not benefit Hopkins. He recorded nine bogeys, one double bogey and no birdies.

Hopkins, a member at Santa Ana Country Club and Mesa Verde Country Club, might want to join Newport Beach Country Club to improve his play at the Toshiba Classic. The greens are usually tough for most golfers at Newport Beach and that is where Hopkins struggled.

"The greens are really tricky. I just mismanaged them terribly," Hopkins said. "I know that coming in. It's my fault."

Hopkins said playing in the city he lives in made him nervous when it came to putting. This is the fifth Toshiba Classic Hopkins has competed in and he got in this year with a sponsor's exemption.

Even though he ended up 81st after the first round, Hopkins did have a nice gallery.

"They were dying for me," Hopkins said. "I was trying, but they were dying.

"I mean I'm out of the tournament, but I want to shoot a couple of good, respectable scores for my own ego."

The only golfers with respectable scores on the first day were the professionals Hopkins said use Cleveland Golf equipment like Larry Mize (68, tied for 15th) and Scott Simpson (69, tied for 30th).

— David Carrillo Peñaloza


John Cook, a part-time Corona del Mar resident, was very excited to play in the Toshiba Classic. But after experience tightness in his lower back, Cook withdrew before the tournament began Friday.

Tom Wargo replaced him.

Cook had finished third at the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico, Feb. 27. It was the highest finish on the PGA Tour for a Champions Tour player this year.

Cook said he felt some tightness in his lower back Thursday while warming up for the pro-am, Champions Tour media director Dave Senko said. It never loosened up, even after working with his doctor Thursday night and Friday morning.

"I feel awful about not being able to compete this week," Cook said in a text to Senko.

— Steve Virgen


World Golf Hall of Famer Lee Trevino bettered his age for the first time in his career as he shot a one-under-par 70 Friday. The 71-year-old Trevino, who has won 29 times on the PGA Tour and 29 on the Champions Tour, had matched his age back in 2006 when he shot a second-round 66 at the AT&T Championship in San Antonio.

Trevino chose the Toshiba Classic as his only event to play in this year.

— From staff reports

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