|Langer, Haas, Kite, Crenshaw Commit to 2011 Toshiba Classic|
Toby Zwikel/Brian Robin/Damian Secore 818-462-5599/5610/5614
Jessica Roswell 949/660-1001
BERNHARD LANGER, JAY HAAS, TOM KITE AND BEN CRENSHAW COMMIT TO 2011 TOSHIBA CLASSIC
Langer and Haas have won the Champions Tour Player of the Year Award the Past Five Years; Foursome accounts for 50 PGA TOUR titles (five majors) and 37 Champions Tour titles
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Jan. 25, 2011 - One can't tell the Champions Tour story, or a couple chapters of the Toshiba Classic's history, without mentioning Bernhard Langer and Jay Haas. Both have ruled the Champions Tour for the past five years and intend on competing for their second Toshiba Classic title.
Langer, the Champions Tour Player of the Year and Arnold Palmer Award winner (Champions Tour money list title) each of the past three seasons, and Haas, the 2006 and 2007 Champions Tour Player of the Year and Arnold Palmer Award winner, have given early commitments alongside World Golf Hall of Famers Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw to play in the Toshiba Classic March 7-13 at Newport Beach Country Club.
The $1.7 million Toshiba Classic, the only Southern California event on the Champions Tour, awards a $255,000 winner's check and is televised on Golf Channel on Friday, March 11 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. PT, Saturday, March 12 from 3:30-6:30 p.m. PT, and Sunday, March 13, from 4-6:30 p.m. PT.
"Although it is only January, our 2011 Toshiba Classic field is rounding into incredible shape with these commitments from Bernhard, Jay, Tom and Ben," Toshiba Classic Executive Director Jeff Purser said. "Bernhard Langer and Jay Haas, two of our most glorious past champions, have raised the bar in terms of the quality of golf we have come to expect on the Champions Tour. Both have a shot this year at joining Hale Irwin as our only two-time winners. Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw are Hall of Famers that really resonate with our fans who have a larger historical perspective on the game. We are thrilled to have this foursome in the fold."
Langer, the 2008 Toshiba Classic champion, comes off a 2010 season in which he won five of his 13 Champions Tour titles, including majors at the Senior British Open and U.S. Senior Open in consecutive weeks. Additionally, he became the first international player to win the Charles Schwab Cup. The 1985 and 1993 Masters champion has 40 European Tour wins and 10 European Ryder Cup appearances to his name, including his 2004 captaincy.
The most successful German golfer ever, Langer is a 2002 World Golf Hall of Fame inductee and holds the distinction of being the world's first No. 1 player when the Official World Golf Ranking was introduced in 1986.
Haas has won nine PGA TOUR titles and 14 Champions Tour titles, including major wins at the 2006 and 2008 Senior PGA Championship and the 2009 Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship. Haas won multiple titles in each of his first five full years on the Champions Tour (2005-09) and won the Charles Schwab Cup in 2008. He competed for the United States in the 1983, 1995 and 2004 Ryder Cups and the 1994 and 2003 Presidents Cups.
During the 2007 Toshiba Classic, Haas scorched the field with a tournament-record score of 19-under par 194 (65-64-65), only notching one bogey all week in besting Hale Irwin's 2002 winning score by two strokes. Haas almost became the Classic's first back-to-back winner the following year, if not for Langer.
Langer and Haas, among the inductees within the Toshiba Classic's first Hall of Fame class in November, were responsible for one of the most epic dramas and exemplary displays of golf in Toshiba Classic history, in 2008, when Langer outlasted Haas to win a seven-hole playoff with 15 minutes of daylight to spare.
Haas erased a four-shot deficit to Langer entering the final round by firing his second consecutive 65. Langer was then forced to sink a clutch, 12-foot putt on the last hole of regulation to send the Toshiba Classic into the fourth playoff in event history. In the playoff, both players birdied No. 18, parred No. 16 and parred the difficult par-3 17th hole. Returning to No. 18, both players managed to get up-and-down from the sand for par.
Returning to No. 16, Langer drained a 28-foot birdie putt, only to see Haas' 14-footer find the bottom of the same cup moments later to keep the playoff going. The two then parred No. 17 - with Langer getting up-and-down from the right bunker for the second consecutive time - to send matters back to No. 18, marking the fourth, and last, time the duo had played the hole that day. Langer won the Classic with a birdie on No. 18.
Kite holds 10 Champions Tour titles and 19 PGA TOUR titles, famously winning his major at the 1992 U.S. Open, where he holed the greatest shot of his career - a lob wedge for birdie on the seventh hole during the final round. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2004, served as U.S. Ryder Cup captain in 1997 and was a 1972 NCAA individual co-champion at the University of Texas.
Crenshaw owns 19 PGA TOUR titles, most notably the 1984 and 1995 Masters. Inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2002 and heralded for his short game, "Gentle Ben" played on four U.S. Ryder Cup teams and captained the 1999 American squad to victory at The Country Club near Boston.
In the 2010 Toshiba Classic, Fred Couples shot an impressive 18-under-par 195 in his Classic debut, and his third Champions Tour start, to win by four shots. His Toshiba Classic triumph stood out in a year where Couples won four events, set the Champions Tour's new scoring average record (67.96), finished second to 2008 Toshiba Classic champion Bernhard Langer on the Champions Tour's 2010 money list and Charles Schwab Cup points standings, and was named Champions Tour Rookie of the Year.
Daily tickets for the Toshiba Classic are $20 if purchased in advance of tournament week, or $25 at the gate. Season patron badges, providing admission to the grounds and clubhouse for practice rounds and the tournament, are $100. Daily patron tickets, providing access to the grounds and the clubhouse on a single day, are $40. All tickets can be obtained at www.ToshibaClassic.com, while tickets and corporate packages are also available by calling 949-660-1001.
The Toshiba Classic's lead charity and operator is Hoag Hospital Foundation and the 2011 tournament will benefit the Mary and Dick Allen Diabetes Center at Hoag. During the last 13 years, the Toshiba Classic generated more than $13 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.
Media can now apply for 2011 Toshiba Classic credentials online at www.pgatourmedia.com. For more information on instructions regarding media credential registration, please visit the Classic's newly designed website at www.toshibaclassic.com. The refreshed ToshibaClassic.com allows for the convenience of purchasing tickets online from anywhere for the Classic, and is also the best source of information for up-to-the-minute tournament news, statistics, history, the Classic's daily schedule of events and updates in its player field, sponsorship opportunities, spectator information, and how to volunteer for the tournament.
Toshiba Classic supporters can congregate online at official Classic fan pages on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ToshibaClassic) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/ToshibaClassic). Fans can also tap into archived Toshiba Classic videos through the Classic's YouTube page (www.youtube.com/user/TheToshibaClassic). Register to become a fan or follower of the Toshiba Classic at each fan page, chat with new friends and golf fans, and stay updated on all tournament and player information.
The Toshiba Classic
Hoag Hospital Foundation produces the annual Toshiba Classic and the 2011 tournament will benefit the Mary and Dick Allen Diabetes Center at Hoag. During the last 13 years, the Toshiba Classic has generated more than $13 million for charity, the most on the Champions Tour. Televised domestically to over 81 million households on The Golf Channel, and an additional 86 million households internationally, the Toshiba Classic provides invaluable exposure for the communities of Orange County. In addition, the tournament generates an estimated $25 million in annual economic impact, benefiting the businesses of Newport Beach and Orange County. For more information, please call 949/660-1001 or log onto ToshibaClassic.com.
About Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian Hoag is a not-for-profit regional healthcare delivery network in Orange County, Calif. that treats nearly 30,000 inpatients and 350,000 outpatients annually. Hoag consists of two acute-care hospitals, seven health centers and a network for more than 1,300 physicians, 5,000 employees and 2,000 volunteers. Hoag Hospital Newport Beach, which has served Orange County since 1952, and Hoag Hospital Irvine, which opened in 2010, are designated Magnet hospitals by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Hoag offers a comprehensive mix of health care services including Centers of Excellence in cancer, heart and vascular, neurosciences and women's health, and orthopedics through Hoag's affiliate, Hoag Orthopedic Institute. National Research Corporation has endorsed Hoag as Orange County's most preferred hospital for the past 15 consecutive years. And for an unprecedented 15 years, residents of Orange County have chosen Hoag as the county's best hospital in a local newspaper survey. Visit www.hoag.org.