|FRED COUPLES, COREY PAVIN, AND PAUL AZINGER COMMIT TO 2010 TOSHIBA CLASSIC, MARCH 1-7 AT NEWPORT BEACH COUNTRY CLUB|
FRED COUPLES, COREY PAVIN, AND PAUL AZINGER COMMIT TO 2010 TOSHIBA CLASSIC, MARCH 1-7 AT NEWPORT BEACH COUNTRY CLUB
Trio Will Make Their Toshiba Classic Debuts and Headlines One of the Champions Tour's Best New Classes in Recent History
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Feb. 1, 2010 - Undisputedly one of the most interesting and competitive Champions Tour rookie classes to be introduced in recent memory, Fred Couples, Corey Pavin and Paul Azinger are three of the Champions Tour newcomers in 2010 who have already committed to the Toshiba Classic, March 1-7 at Newport Beach Country Club.
Couples, Pavin and Azinger bring world-class games that remain competitive on the PGA TOUR and should instantly challenge the current hierarchy of the Champions Tour. All three players are expected to split 2010 between the PGA and Champions Tours. In 2009, Couples tied for third at the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club and the Shell Houston Open and tied for fifth at the Wyndham Championship. Pavin posted four top-20 finishes last year, including a tie for 19th at the PGA Championship.
"What I'm looking forward to is really having fun and seeing the fellows ... being with guys that, as a very young player, I competed against - Fuzzy Zoeller, Jay Haas, Curtis Strange and Loren Roberts - and other guys I played with a long time. So I have been looking forward to being 50," Couples said. "My goal is to play where I belong and, really, it's probably on the Champions Tour. My days on the PGA TOUR will soon be gone. When I'm at home, most of the events I watch are Champions Tour events. Everyone seems like a winner out here. If I get healthy, and I play well, then I should really be great for the Champions Tour. I should be able to win. I should be able to compete."
All three players continue to be strong influences on the greatest players in the world in the highest-caliber match play events. Azinger captained the 2008 United States Ryder Cup team to its first triumph over Europe since 1999. Pavin will assume Azinger's duties in this year's Ryder Cup, in Wales in October. In October of last year, Couples captained the U.S. Presidents Cup team to victory over the International team in San Francisco.
"Southern California golf fans ought to be ecstatic with the inclusion of Fred Couples, Corey Pavin and Paul Azinger to what is, pretty much, an already full-strength Champions Tour field at the Toshiba Classic," Toshiba Classic Tournament Executive Director Jeff Purser said. "We appreciate their commitments to join us at Newport Beach Country Club. With this terrific trio, I believe the Champions Tour has not been this strong in quite a while. Come March, the Toshiba Classic is certain to have one of its most prominent fields ever."
The $1.7 million Toshiba Classic awards a $255,000 winner's check and will be televised on Golf Channel on Friday, March 5 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. PST and Saturday and Sunday, March 6-7, from 3:30-6 p.m. PST. Daily tickets are $20 if purchased in advance and are $25 at the gate. Season clubhouse badges providing admission to the grounds and clubhouse for practice rounds and the tournament are $100. All tickets, including corporate ticket packages, can be obtained by calling 949-660-1001 or visiting www.ToshibaClassic.com.
In 2009, Argentina's Eduardo Romero shot a final-round 3-under-par 68, rolling in four birdies from the first six holes on the back nine, to become the fourth international (non-U.S.) player to win the Toshiba Classic at 11-under 202. It was Romero's fourth victory in his last 10 Champions Tour starts, fifth Champions Tour win overall and his 100th professional triumph worldwide.
The Toshiba Classic's lead charity and operator is Hoag Hospital Foundation. During the last 12 years, the Toshiba Classic has raised more than $12 million for charity, the most on the Champions Tour. Hoag Hospital Foundation also received the inaugural PGA Champions Tour Charity of the Year Award in 1998.
Toshiba Classic supporters can congregate online and expand the tournament's fan base through its official fan pages on Facebook (www.facebook.com, search "Toshiba Classic"), and Twitter (www.twitter.com/ToshibaClassic). Register to become a fan or follower of the Toshiba Classic at each fan page, meet and chat with new friends and golf fans, and stay up to date on all tournament and player information. Tournament information, statistics, activities and updates are also available at the tournament's official web site, www.ToshibaClassic.com.
About Fred Couples
Couples won the PGA TOUR Player of the Year Award and Vardon Trophy (lowest scoring average) in 1991 and 1992, and captured the PGA TOUR's Arnold Palmer Award (leading money-winner) in 1992. He is a five-time United States Ryder Cup selection (1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997), a four-time U.S. Presidents Cup player (1994, 1996, 1998, 2005), and captained the 2009 U.S. Presidents Cup squad to a glorious victory in San Francisco in October.
About Corey Pavin
Pavin is set to succeed Azinger as the captain of the 2010 United States Ryder Cup team, having played for the U.S. in 1991, 1993 and 1995 and on the 1994 and 1996 U.S. Presidents Cup teams. He won the Junior World Amateur title at age 17.
About Paul Azinger
Azinger was named the PGA TOUR's Comeback Player of the Year in 2000, a year in which he enjoyed his most lucrative year in PGA TOUR earnings and his first million-dollar year on the circuit since his recovery from cancer. In 2008, he captained the United States Ryder Cup team that he played for on five previous occasions (1989, 1991, 1993, 2002, 2008) and was a 2000 U.S. Presidents Cup pick.
The Toshiba Classic