Toshiba Classic just around the corner

It's that time again.

The Toshiba Classic at Newport Beach Country Club March 16 through 18 marks the next Champions Tour event.

Three different players have posted victories in as many events in 2012. (Dan Forsman at the Mitsubishi Electric in Hawaii; Corey Pavin at the Allianz Championship and Kenny Perry at last weekend's ACE Group Classic. Both Pavin and Perry's victories came in Florida.

Pavin will be vying for his first victory at NBCC. As of Tuesday, Perry had not committed.

Nick Price defends his Toshiba title. Brad Faxon, John Huston, Jay Don Blake, Mark Brooks and Steve Pate will all make their tournament debuts to go alongside perennials Fuzzy Zoeller, Tom Watson, Hale Irwin, Tom Kite, Ben Crenshaw, and 2010 winner Fred Couples.

Jay Haas, the 2007 winner, is in the field. His son, Bill, pulled off quite the victory at the Northern Trust Open at Riviera on Sunday. I came back from the gym and my parents were riveted to the TV watching Phil Mickelson, Haas and Keegan Bradley duel in a playoff. What a putt by Haas.

Here's hoping Toshiba holds similar drama.


Irwin, the only two-time winner at Toshiba, will be the speaker at the annual Champions Breakfast at 7 a.m. March 13 at the Newport Beach Marriott. Irwin, a World Golf Hall of Famer and three-time U.S. Openwinner, has 20 PGA Tour wins and 45 victories on the Champions Tour.

Tickets can be purchased by calling (949) 660-1001. Tables cost $1,200 and seat 10.


UC Irvine men's golf team's annual Anteater Invitational is pushed back in the schedule to April 23 and 24, at Shady Canyon Golf Club in Irvine. Mesa Verde Country Club and Big Canyon Country Club have hosted the event in prior years.

"We have a five-course rotation; it's subject to the course's tournament calendar," UCI Coach Paul Smolinski said.

The 'Eaters head to Westlake Village to play in the Pepperdine Invitational February 27 and 28 at North Ranch Country Club. UCI opened the spring schedule tied for seventh of 12 teams in the 54-hole Arizona Intercollegiate in late January. UCI sophomore Allan Jun finished 10th at one-under-par (67-76-69 — 212).

Smolinski was pleased with the result.

"We had a better outing than what we showed in the fall," Smolinski said. "Pete [Fernandez] and Jun have separated themselves as far as their play goes. Mike [Yang] and Mickey Chan have shown leadership, and there are several guys vying for the last spot.

"Allan has a great wedge game and drives the ball well. He keeps it in play. Pete [a redshirt freshman] is really striking the ball well. He hits it long and straight and hits a lot of fairways."

BRYCE ALDERTON is the golf writer for the Daily Pilot. He can be reached at

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