Virgen's View: Action starts early

There wasn't much action on Monday, the first day of the 18th annual Toshiba Classic at Newport Beach Country Club.

The shuttle buses driving from nearby parking lots to the club were empty as they made their rounds.

But there was plenty going on Sunday. The Toshiba Classic staff had more than just prep work the day before tournament week began.

The Shot from the Top made its return, although it was called "Delivery for the Top," as four pros took their best shot from atop the roof of the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa and onto the No. 2 green at NBCC.

The pros "competed" against sponsors, as money was raised for charity, a key aspect of the Toshiba Classic.

Fuzzy Zoeller, John Jacobs, Craig Stadler and Andy Bean were the pros. If they lost to a sponsor, the Toshiba Classic donated money to the sponsors' favorite charity. If the pro won, the sponsor donated money to the charity. Shanked shots that landed in the nearby tennis courts, for example, cost the player $300 for charity.

There was more fun, too. Each of the pros aimed for a target below that had an NCAA men's basketball team logo. Whichever logo they landed on became their team for the NCAA tournament. Zoeller landed on Florida State, the Atlantic Coast Conference champion, but made sure to let everyone know he still bled for his Hoosiers, as he is an Indiana alumnus.

Bean was fortunate to land on Florida, his alma mater. Jacobs landed on Ohio State and Stadler will root for St. Mary's.

The four pros helped raise $5,000.

Zoeller also kept himself busy earlier in the day. He had a commercial filmed at NBCC for his line of vodka. The shoot, which included about 30 extras, lasted roughly nine hours.

Zoeller had the entire commercial filmed at NBCC.

Jacobs and his quartet group finished first in the Low Net for Monday's pro-am. Jeff Benck, JP Wang, Derek Phillips and John Dahl with Jacobs scored 53.

Pro Jay Don Blake, along with John Alfieri, Jim Welsh, Keegan Riley and Herb DeSilva were second at 54, while Dana Quigley and his foursome of Greg Solaas, Steve Solaas, Rich Schmitt and Greg Zoll were third at 55.

Tim Codd won the closest-to-the-pin contest on No. 17.

Mike Castner won the longest drive contest for the men and Vicky McGavack won for the women.

Hall of Famer Hale Irwin will be the featured speaker at Tuesday morning's Breakfast With A Champion at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa.

Irwin has the most wins on the Champions Tour with 45. He's the Toshiba Classic's only two-time winner. The breakfast begins at 7 a.m.

Two Orange County high school seniors will be honored during the breakfast as recipients of the Toshiba Classic Scholarship Fund. Each will be presented a $10,000 scholarship.

There were 12 finalists, who were awarded a Toshiba laptop computer. The finalists are: Julia Kerr (Corona del Mar), Kerlly Castellano (Costa Mesa), Olivia Tsai (El Toro), Maxwell Hume (Estancia); Karen Wen (Irvine), Alec Hogan (Laguna Hills), Paul Tadross (Newport Harbor), Drew Gleason (Mission Viejo), Priscilla Vu (Northwood), Karli Thompson (Trabuco Hills), Danielle Shi (University) and Amanda Jaramilla (Woodbridge).

Twitter: @SteveVirgen

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World