For Corey Pavin, it was a once-in-a-lifetime shot, but he's hoping the Allianz Championship won't be his once-in-a-lifetime victory on the Champions Tour.
In 34 starts on the Champions Tour, Pavin had never won. But on the 35th, something magical happened. Some of that magic took place on the par-three 14th hole at Broken Sound Golf Club in Boca Raton, Fla. on Feb. 12.
Pavin had an incredible par save. He turned around his eight-iron and hit left-handed for a chip shot. That was basically the only option Pavin had as there was a tree root to the left of the ball. The chip rolled to five feet and Pavin sank the putt.
Later, he won on the first playoff hole against Peter Senior after rolling in a 12-foot birdie putt.
Now Pavin, the 1995 U.S. Open champ, hopes to rekindle the magic at the 18th annual Toshiba Classic at Newport Beach Country Club. The tournament days will be March 16, 17 and 18.
"That was a once-in-a-lifetime shot," Pavin told the Associated Press. "I can't think of a better up-and-down I've had in my career. It's not like I practice turning eight-irons over and hit them left-handed. When that happens, you think you're going to win, but I had to get that thought out of my head."
Pavin went more than five years since winning a tournament before his victory at Broken Sound. His last win was the 2006 U.S. Bank Championship of Milwaukee. That stretch lasted 122 tournaments.
"It's been a long time," he said. "But I'm always more comfortable trying to win a tournament than trying to finish fifth or sixth."
Pavin was named the Champions Tour Player of the Month for January/February, but he'll be challenged to carry on his momentum at Newport Beach. Hall of Famer Nick Price returns to defend his title at the Toshiba Classic.
Fred Couples, the 2010 Classic champion, and his good friend Jay Haas, the 2007 champ, are also among a decorated field that also features 39-time PGA Tour winner Tom Watson and John Cook, a Corona del Mar resident.
Look out for Bernhard Langer, who won the Toshiba Classic in 2008. The two-time Masters champion has two top-10 finishes in three events this year.
The Charles Schwab Cup is a method to determine the top players on the Champions Tour, as it's a season-long, points-based competition.
Langer won it in 2010. He's in third with 259 points, behind second-place Corey Pavin (270) and top man Dan Forsman (307).
Haas is up there too, at No. 6.
Mark O'Meara, the former Masters champion, is no stranger to Newport Beach. He prepped at Mission Viejo High and played some matches at NBCC. O'Meara, a former Costa Mesa City Championship winner, also committed to the Toshiba Classic.
They'll be vying for the $262,500 winner's check as part of the $1.75-million Toshiba Classic.
Tournament week includes four days of Pro-Am, March 12-15. One of the highlights of the week is the annual Breakfast With a Champion event. This year, the featured speaker is Hale Irwin, the only two-time Toshiba Classic champion.