Beer Man Johnson Defends Toshiba Classic

By Sports NetworkMarch 15, 2006, 5:00 pm
2005 Toshiba Senior ClassicThe Champions Tour finishes their two-week stay in California this week with the Toshiba Classic. Last year, Mark Johnson, a former beer truck driver, holed out for eagle on the 18th hole in the final round to win by four strokes over Wayne Levi and Keith Fergus.
Johnson began the final round with a three-shot lead over Fergus. He rolled in an eight-foot birdie putt at the first. However, he tripped to a double-bogey at the next. Johnson bounced back with a birdie on No. 3 at the Newport Beach Country Club. He faltered to a bogey at the seventh, but his lead was still three over Fergus. Johnson was unable to get up and down for par from in front of the green at 11. With that bogey, his lead dropped to two strokes.
With Fergus getting closer, Johnson took things into his own hands to make sure he wouldn't lose this tournament. He dropped a five-iron 22 feet from the hole at the par-5 15th. Johnson rolled in that eagle attempt to get back to minus-12. He stumbled to another bogey at the 17th. The Californian then lost his tee shot into the trees right of the fairway at the last. Johnson calmly hacked a shot out of trouble and back into the fairway.
From there, he pulled out a wedge for his third shot. The ball bounced past the cup, but spun back into the hole for an eagle from 89 yards out giving Johnson his first ever Champions Tour title. Johnson drove a Budweiser truck for 18 years before pursuing a professional golf career.

Hale Irwin is the leading money winner at this event with $696,610. He is the only two-time champion, winning in 1998 and 2002. He's been among the top-10 in five of his 10 appearances in Orange County and is a cumulative 70-under on the Newport Beach course. Irwin held the course record with a 62 in the final round of the 1998 event before Tom Purtzer shattered it in 2003 with his 11- under-par 60 in the opening round. Incredibly, Purtzer could make only 11 birdies in the final two rounds after posting nine birdies and one eagle in his opening round.

Four of the last seven Toshiba Senior Classic champions claimed their first Champions Tour victory at this event. Gary McCord collected his first title in a playoff at the 1999 event; Jose Canizares defeated Gil Morgan in extra holes at the 2001 tournament; in 2003, Rodger Davis won his first tournament after turning 50 and Johnson won last year in his 14th Champions Tour start.
Newport Beach Country Club was originally known as Irvine Coast Country Club when it first opened in 1954. William Bell designed the course in 1952, which has had redesign work by Harry Rainville and Ted Robinson. At 6,584 yards it is the shortest course for an official event on the 2006 Champions Tour schedule.
After two weeks in California, the Champions Tour will travel to Mexico in two weeks for the inaugural Puerto Vallarta Golf Classic.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Toshiba Senior Classic
  • Full Coverage - Toshiba Senior Classic
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.