|Watson, Pavin, Cook and O'Meara Commit to 2011 Toshiba Classic|
Toby Zwikel/Brian Robin/Damian Secore 818-462-5599/5610/5614
Jessica Roswell 949/660-1001
TOM WATSON, COREY PAVIN, JOHN COOK AND MARK O'MEARA COMMIT TO 2011 TOSHIBA CLASSIC
Foursome accounts for 81 PGA TOUR titles (11 majors) and 20 Champions Tour titles; Media Credential Registration Available at www.pgatourmedia.com
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Jan. 17, 2011 - While the 2011 Champions Tour season begins this week, several golfers are already thinking of happy returns to the year's fourth event in March, the Toshiba Classic. World Golf Hall of Famer Tom Watson, Southern California native Corey Pavin, an NCAA Player of the Year at UCLA, and two of Orange County's favorite golfing sons - Corona del Mar resident John Cook and former Mission Viejo resident Mark O'Meara - have given early commitments to return to Newport Beach Country Club to play in the Toshiba Classic, March 7-13. 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. Watson, Pavin and Cook posted their best Toshiba Classic finishes in 2010, all placing in the top seven. Watson fired the best round of the 2010 Classic with a final-round 62 that enabled him to jump 24 spots on the leaderboard and tie for fifth place. Pavin, a Classic rookie in 2010, and Cook tied for seventh. O'Meara, who spent his formative years in golf as a teen in Mission Viejo, finished runner-up at the 2009 Toshiba Classic. "We sincerely appreciate the commitments we have already received from Tom, Corey, John and Mark. Those standing to benefit most from this are our golf fans," Toshiba Classic Executive Director Jeff Purser said. "I don't know if there is a greater golf legend playing on the Champions Tour than Tom Watson. Corey Pavin has already done so much to support our event in his one year of Tour membership and we're pleased that he is returning. There is plenty of local rooting interest with John Cook, who is practically a neighbor to this tournament, and Mark O'Meara. These four golfers are serious contenders to win the 2011 Toshiba Classic." Inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1988, Watson owns 39 PGA TOUR titles - highlighted by wins at the 1977 and 1981 Masters, 1982 U.S. Open and the 1975, 1977, 1980, 1982 and 1983 British Open - and 13 Champions Tour titles, including majors at the 2001 Senior PGA Championship, the 2003, 2005 and 2007 Senior British Open and the 2003 JELD-WEN Tradition. Almost making it a remarkable 40th PGA TOUR title and ninth major championship when he finished runner-up through a playoff in the 2009 British Open, Watson has discovered such a rich vein of form in the latter stages of his golf career. He enters this week's Champions Tour season opener in Hawaii as the defending champion of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai, where he became the 15th player to win on the Champions Tour at age 60 or older. A native of Oxnard, Pavin is a 15-time PGA TOUR winner and the 1995 U.S. Open champion. Known for his sublime accuracy on the golf course, Pavin made eight starts on last year's PGA TOUR and was runner-up via a playoff in the Travelers Championship. He finished runner-up twice in 15 Champions Tour starts last year, including a second at the Senior British Open. Pavin captained the 2010 United States Ryder Cup team, having played for the U.S. squad in 1991, 1993 and 1995, and played on the 1994 and 1996 U.S. Presidents Cup teams. He was the PGA TOUR's Arnold Palmer Award winner (leading money-winner) in 1991. He also won the Junior World Amateur title at age 17. Cook owns 11 PGA TOUR and five Champions Tour titles. In 2010, Cook made 25 Champions Tour starts, winning the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship for the second consecutive year, placing runner-up three times and third in four other events. Cook finished third on the Champions Tour money list for the second consecutive year, and placed Nos. 2 and 3 in the Charles Schwab Cup points standings in 2009 and 2010, respectively. O'Meara, a 16-time PGA TOUR winner and the 1998 Masters and 1998 British Open champion, broke through to win his first two Champions Tour events last year, including a major at the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship. The 1998 PGA TOUR Player of the Year, five-time U.S. Ryder Cup (1985, 1989, 1991, 1997, 1999) and two-time Presidents Cup (1996, 1998) player began playing golf when he moved to Orange County at 13. He attended Mission Viejo High School, was an All-American at Long Beach State, and won the 1979 California State and U.S. Amateurs. 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., consisting 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, orthopedics and women's health. National Research Corporation has endorsed Hoag as Orange County's most preferred hospital for the past 14 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.