Champions Golf Tour
CHAMPIONS - Toshiba Classic Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Friday, March 16th through Sunday, March 18th
SITE: Newport Beach Country Club, Newport Beach, California
COURSE ARCHITECT: William Bell (1953), Harry Rainville (1973),
         Ted Robinson (1985, 1998-99)
PAR: 71
YARDAGE: 6,584
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 339 Yds10 - Par 4 429 Yds
2 - Par 4 390 Yds11 - Par 4 344 Yds
3 - Par 5 549 Yds12 - Par 4 373 Yds
4 - Par 3 143 Yds13 - Par 3 170 Yds
5 - Par 4 430 Yds14 - Par 4 397 Yds
6 - Par 4 418 Yds15 - Par 5 492 Yds
7 - Par 4 368 Yds16 - Par 4 437 Yds
8 - Par 3 203 Yds17 - Par 3 185 Yds
9 - Par 4 407 Yds18 - Par 5 510 Yds
--------------------------
35 3,247 Yds36 3,337 Yds
 
Annual:  18th
Television:  Golf Channel - Friday -- 8:30-10:30 p.m. (et) - taped,
  - Saturday/Sunday -- 7:30-9:30 p.m. (et) - taped
Defending Champion:  Nick Price
Runner-Up:  Mark Wiebe
Tournament Record:  194 (Jay Haas, 2007)
36-Hole Record:  128 (Nick Price, 2011)
Course Record:  60 (Tom Purtzer, 2004; Nick Price, 2011)
Total Purse:  $1,750,000
Shares:  1st Place - $262,500; 2nd Place - $154,000; 3rd Place - $126,000
 
2011 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Nick Price196Robert Thompson200
Mark Wiebe197Brad Bryant200
Joe Ozaki199Olin Browne201
Michael Allen199Mark O'Meara201
Fred Couples200Tom Pernice, Jr.201
Jeff Sluman201
 
Past Toshiba Classic Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2011Nick Price (196) -- Mark Wiebe
2010Fred Couples (195) -- Ronnie Black
2009Eduardo Romero (202) -- Mark O'Meara, Joey Sindelar
2008*Bernhard Langer (199) -- Jay Haas
2007Jay Haas (194) -- R.W. Eaks
2006Brad Bryant (204) -- John Harris, Mark Johnson, Bobby Wadkins
2005Mark Johnson (200) -- Wayne Levi, Keith Fergus
2004Tom Purtzer (198) -- Morris Hatalsky
2003Rodger Davis (197) -- Larry Nelson
2002Hale Irwin (196) -- Allen Doyle
2001*Jose Maria Canizares (202) -- Gil Morgan
2000#Allen Doyle (136) -- Jim Thorpe, Howard Twitty
1999*Gary McCord (204) -- Allen Doyle, Al Geiberger, John Jacobs
1998Hale Irwin (200) -- Hubert Green
1997*Bob Murphy (207) -- Jay Sigel
1996Jim Colbert (201) -- Bob Eastwood
1995George Archer (199) -- Dave Stockton, Tom Wargo

* - Won in Playoff

# - Rain Shortened

Note:Previously called Toshiba Senior Classic (1995-2005).

Top Contenders in the Field
Player2002200320042005200620072008200920102011
Nick Price---------------------T-22T-9Won
Mark Wiebe------------------T-42T-29T-172nd
Fred Couples------------------------WonT-5
Brad Bryant---------T-15WonT-58---T-46---T-5
Mark O'Meara---------------T-5T-39T-2T-30T-8
Jeff Sluman------------------T-13T-9T-43T-8
Corey Pavin------------------------T-7T-12
Russ Cochran------------------------T-28T-12
Tommy Armour III------------------------T-43T-15
Tom Lehman------------------------T-3T-17
David Eger---T-13T-6T-49T-5T-35T-36T-4T-17T-17
Loren Roberts---------------T-15T-21T-36T-5T-22
Dan Forsman---------------------T-15T-9T-22
Bernhard Langer------------------WonT-9T-17T-28
Jay Haas------------T-16Won2nd------T-28
Fred Funk------------------T-13T-4T-43T-33
Chien Soon Lu------------------------T-3T-35
Tom JenkinsT-10T-31T-41T-8T-16T-54T-32T-4T-28T-35
Joey Sindelar---------------------T-2T-49T-35
Tom Kite---T-19T-27---T-48T-30T-49T-22T-33T-44
Tom PurtzerT-66T-19WonT-15T-13T-5T-21wdT-54T-49
Tom WatsonT-10T-31---------------T-22T-5T-56
Hale IrwinWonT-3T-49T-20T-8T-30---T-46T-17T-61
John Cook------------------T-13T-15T-7---
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Bernhard Langer
Darkhorse - Bill Glasson
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (John Cook) - Finished tied for 21st
Last Week's Darkhorse (Jay Haas) - Finished 6th
 
NOTES:
The Champions Tour travels to California this week for the Toshiba Classic in Newport Beach. The top three players on the money list are in action - Dan Forsman, Corey Pavin and 2008 champion Bernhard Langer. Forsman won the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship and Pavin captured the Allianz Championship for his first Champions Tour title. Langer has finished tied for third and second in his last two events. The 81-player field consists of 21 different major champions from the PGA Tour. Nine past winners of this tournament are also competing. The purse increased $50,000 from last year, with the winner receiving $262,500.

Newport Beach Country Club was originally known as Irvine Coast Country Club when it first opened in 1954. William Bell designed the course in 1953, which has had redesign work by Harry Rainville and Ted Robinson. At 6,584 yards, the Newport Beach Country Club is the second-shortest course for an official event on the 2012 Champions Tour schedule. Del Monte Golf Course, one of two used for the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, is the shortest at 6,357 yards.

Last year, Nick Price tied the course record with an opening-round 60 and led wire-to-wire for a one-stroke win over Mark Wiebe. Price, who won for the fourth time on the Champions Tour, ended at 17-under-par 196. Price established a new 36-hole record of 128.

In 2008, Langer birdied the seventh playoff hole to defeat 2007 champion Jay Haas. This event has featured two of the longest playoffs in Champions Tour history. Twice, there have been nine-hole playoffs, so the 2008 seven-hole extra session was nothing the event couldn't handle. In 1997, Bob Murphy needed nine extra holes to defeat Jay Sigel and in 2001 Jose Maria Canizares also needed nine holes to defeat Gil Morgan. The other playoff was in 1999 when Gary McCord needed five holes to defeat John Jacobs, Al Geiberger and Allen Doyle.

In 2007, Haas fired rounds of 65-64-65 to finish at 19-under-par 194 and win by two shots over R.W. Eaks. Haas broke the previous tournament scoring record of 196 set by Hale Irwin in 2002.

Brad Bryant claimed his first Champions Tour crown in 2006, as he birdied the final hole to finish at nine-under-par 204. In 2005, Mark Johnson, a former beer truck driver, holed out for eagle on the 18th hole in the final round to win by four strokes over Wayne Levi and Keith Fergus. Johnson drove a Budweiser truck for 18 years before pursuing a professional golf career.

Irwin is the leading money winner at this event with $782,811 in earnings. He is the only two-time champion, winning in 1998 and 2002. Irwin has been among the top-10 in six of his 14 appearances in Orange County and is a cumulative 86-under on the Newport Beach course. Irwin held the course record with a 62 in the final round of the 1998 event before Tom Purtzer shattered it in 2004 with his 11-under-par 60 in the opening round. Price matched Purtzer's course-record in 2011.

In 1997, Murphy became the only player in tournament history to shoot a round over par and go on and win. Murphy fired a final-round, one-over-par 72, but it was good enough to get him into a playoff where he defeated Sigel.

The Champions Tour travels to Mississippi next week for the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic in Biloxi, where Tom Lehman captured the 2011 event.

03/13 14:51:19 ET

As of March 13, 2012, at 02:51 PM ET