NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- On Valentine's Day, of all days, iconic golf legend and personality Lee Trevino informed the Toshiba Classic that he will continue his love affair with the tournament by committing to play in the 17th-annual Classic, March 7-13, at Newport Beach Country Club. Trevino said the Toshiba Classic is the only official full-field Champions Tour event he plans to play in 2011.
A 1981 World Golf Hall of Fame inductee who has won 29 times each on the PGA and Champions Tours, Trevino played in four official Tour events last year, six in 2009 and four in 2008. His best finish at the Toshiba Classic was a tie for fourth place in 1996. He posted his best Champions Tour round of 2009 in the first round of the Toshiba Classic (even-par 71) and will aim to at least shoot his age at Newport Beach CC next month.
"The Toshiba Classic is the only (full-field) tournament I am playing this season," said Trevino, who, at age 71, could end up being the oldest player in the Toshiba Classic field. "I love this course, I love this tournament, and I wanted to play again for the fans."
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.
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.
One of golf's most revered figures, Trevino owns six PGA TOUR majors with the 1968 and 1971 U.S. Opens, 1971 and 1972 British Opens, and 1974 and 1984 PGA Championships. He holds four Champions Tour majors -- the 1990 U.S. Senior Open, 1992 and 1994 PGA Seniors' Championships and the 1992 Tradition.
The 1967 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year, Trevino won five Vardon Trophies (low scoring average), played on six U.S. Ryder Cup teams and captained the 1985 Ryder Cup team. When he won the 1968 U.S. Open, Trevino became the first player in U.S. Open history to shoot under par and in the 60s in all four rounds. He has had many commercial and movie credits, such as his role in the popular golf movie, "Happy Gilmore."
"Words could not describe my elation for the Toshiba Classic and our fans when I received that news about Lee Trevino this morning," Toshiba Classic Executive Director Jeff Purser said. "It says so much about our tournament and the Orange County community that Lee wants to continue to play the Classic. We never know when Lee's last Toshiba Classic might be, but I do know the Toshiba is always graced by Lee's presence and that our fans will continue to welcome and support Lee as if it is his first Toshiba."
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.
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.
Toshiba Classic supporters can congregate online at official Classic fan pages on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/ToshibaClassic target=_blank>www.facebook.com/ToshibaClassic) and Twitter (http://www.facebook.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.