Past Toshiba Classic champions, and the top 30 players on the Champions Tour, amassing hundreds of wins combined, will tee it up at the 19th annual tournament, set to tee off March 11-17 at Newport Beach Country Club, the Toshiba Classic announced Tuesday.
Among those committed include 2008 Toshiba Classic winner Bernhard Langer, Tom Lehman, Fred Funk, Mark Calcavecchia, 2007 Toshiba Classic winner Jay Haas, 2010 Toshiba Classic winner Fred Couples, part-time Corona del Mar resident John Cook, Corey Pavin and Toshiba Classic defending champion Loren Roberts.
Lehman has been the Tour's Player of the Year the past two years. Champions Tour 'rookies' Rocco Mediate, Steve Elkington and Esteban Toledo are also expected to compete.
"It's really something when you can say your tournament has the 30 top players on the Tour participating, and this Newport Beach event can," Jeff Purser, executive director of the Toshiba Classic, said in a release. "We are extremely proud to have such an elite group of athletes test their skills in at the Toshiba Classic, as is the community and country club."
Another group of golf legends teeing it up are members of the World Golf Hall of Fame, including two-time Masters winner Ben Crenshaw, two-time U.S. Open winner Curtis Strange, 38-time professional winner Tom Kite, eight-time Majors winner Tom Watson, 45-time Champions Tour and three-time Major winner Hale Irwin, 19-time Champions Tour winner and three-time Major winner Larry Nelson, and 30-time professional winner Sandy Lyle.
San Luis Obispo native Roberts, 57, won the 2012 Toshiba Classic by two strokes to secure his 13th Champions Tour victory.
The $1.75 million Toshiba Classic will award a $262,500 winner's check to the 2013 champion and is televised on the Golf Channel on Friday, March 15 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 16 from 4:30-6:30 p.m., and Sunday, March 17, from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
The Toshiba Classic's lead charity and operator is Hoag Hospital Foundation, and the 2013 tournament will benefit the Mary and Dick Allen Diabetes Center at Hoag for the third consecutive year. The Toshiba Classic has generated more than $15 million for charity in the last 15 years, the most on the Champions Tour. Hoag Hospital Foundation also received the inaugural PGA Champions Tour Charity of the Year Award in 1998.
Tickets for the Toshiba Classic are on sale now, and run $20 if purchased in advance of tournament week or $25 at the gate. Season patron badges cost $100, which provide week-long grounds and clubhouse admission for practice rounds and the tournament. Daily tickets providing grounds and the clubhouse are $40 per day.
Visit www.toshibaclassic.com to purchase, or call (949) 660-1001 to secure corporate packages.
— From staff reports