Power Rankings: Toshiba Classic
March 05, 2018
By Vartan Kupelian, PGATOUR.COM
- Jerry Kelly is coming off a T2 finish at the Cologuard Classic. (Darren Carroll/Getty Images)
Vartan Kupelian is a PGATOUR.COM contributor. Each week, Kupelian will size up the field and provide his top 5 players going into the tournament, based on factors such as the player's strengths, the course setup, recent performances, etc.
The Toshiba Classic returns to the PGA TOUR Champions schedule this week with Jay Haas returning to defend the title he won in 2016.
Toshiba America, Inc., has extended its title sponsorship through the 2020 tournament at Newport Beach Country Club. Toshiba is the longest-standing title sponsor on PGA TOUR Champions, dating back to 1995. This year the tournament transitions back to its original March dates.
Two years ago, Haas birdied the first playoff hole to defeat Bart Bryant and win the Toshiba Classic for the second time in his career. He also won in 2007.
A final-round 64 by Bryant enabled him to match the 16-under 197 total by Haas and force the playoff. Haas, who posted a final 70, won with a birdie on the first playoff hole.
Haas rebounded from an off season in 2015 to get back into the winner’s circle at Newport Beach Country Club.
“In 2014 I had one of my most consistent, strongest years that I had out here and (in 2015) had one of the worst years that I've had out here,” Haas said after the victory. “So I felt maybe I'm done, maybe this is it.
“Just to win, to know that I can do it again at 62 is pretty amazing. At 60 when I won the last time, I thought that's pretty good. I wouldn't have thought I would still be playing golf in a tournament competitively at 60 and still doing this out here.”