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Can you even improve on the Toshiba Classic? Organizers say…yes

Toshiba Jay Haas

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Photo by Tom Johnson

Toshiba Classic Defending Champion Jay Haas

The 2018 Toshiba Classic returns to Newport Beach for its 23rd year, with a slate of new programs designed to enhance spectator experience and a powerful PGA TOUR Champions lineup competing for the $1.8 million purse. This year’s event will be held March 7 – 11 at Newport Beach Country Club, and marks Hoag Hospital’s 20th anniversary as host, manager and beneficiary of the tournament, which generates more than $1 million annually for charity. As it has since 2011, proceeds from this year’s Toshiba Classic will benefit the Mary & Dick Allen Diabetes Center and other Hoag programs.

“We are proud to host the only official PGA TOUR Champions event in Orange County,” said Jeff Purser, executive director of the Toshiba Classic. “Over two decades, we have raised more than $20 million for Hoag Hospital and more than 45 other local charities. This is our annual opportunity to showcase the best of our community, as the tournament draws over 80,000 patrons, 200-plus sponsors and more than 1,000 volunteers every year. In addition, the Toshiba Classic fills local hotel rooms, restaurants and businesses during tournament week, providing an enormous influx of dollars into our local economy.”

The Toshiba Classic brings players with more than 400 worldwide professional victories and more than 50 major championships to Southern California. In its history, the Toshiba Classic has hosted 40 PGA TOUR Champions members in the World Golf Hall of Fame, many of whom are still actively competing.

In addition to Fred Couples, John Daly and defending champion, Jay Haas, 80 players are expected to compete in this year’s tournament, including Bernhard Langer, Scott McCarron, Vijay Singh, Mark O’Meara, Tom Lehman, Colin Montgomerie and Corey Pavin. 

Additionally, in advance of the tournament, the annual Breakfast with a Champion presented by Allergan will be held on Tuesday, March 6 at the Balboa Bay Resort. 

Lanny Wadkins, 21-time PGA TOUR winner and 2009 World Golf Hall of Fame inductee, will be this year’s Breakfast with a Champion Guest of Honor. Wadkins is well-known for his television career. During his time on the PGA TOUR Champions, he divided his time between competing and broadcasting with CBS. Currently, Wadkins is The Golf Channel’s lead analyst. 

In addition, Ira Garbutt will be recognized for serving as Tournament Chairman of the Toshiba Classic for the last 10 years.

The Championship Weekend will kick off with the third annual Military Appreciation Day presented by Microsemi on Saturday, March 10, where all active and retired service members and up to three guests will receive complimentary admission plus food and beverage vouchers. 

Continuing with tradition, the tournament will provide funding to military causes, including the Open Hearts for Purple Hearts Foundation, 1/1 Foundation, Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, and a military family will be chosen to receive direct financial support. 

Patriotic opening and closing ceremonies will bring together local military members and dignitaries to honor all the brave men and women who served our nation. Also, a “Messages for Military” board will be on display so spectators can write personal notes of gratitude.

On Sunday, March 11, the second annual Student Day will give complimentary admission to students ages 18 and under. Family-friendly activities will include a Kids Fun Zone with games and prizes. All high school and middle school-aged students in attendance will be invited to participate in a putting contest for chances to win scholarships, golf equipment, tickets to local attractions and more.

Good-Any-One-Day tickets for the Toshiba Classic are available online at www.toshibaclassic.com/tickets before the event for $25. Tickets purchased at the Main Gate on the day of the event are $30. Tickets can also be purchased in advance at participating Roger Dunn Golf Stores.