Trevino to Play in Toshiba Classic

Lee Trevino has informed the organizers of the Toshiba Classic that he will play in the 17th annual event, which will take place March 7-13 at Newport Beach Country Club. Trevino said the Toshiba Classic is the only official full-field Champions Tour event he will play this year.

A 1981 World Golf Hall of Fame inductee who has won 29 times on each of the PGA and Champions Tours, Trevino played in four official Tour events in 2010, six in '09 and four in '08. His best finish in the Toshiba Classic was a tie for fourth in 1996. He hopes to 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 as the oldest player in the field. "I love this course, I love this tournament, and I wanted to play again for the fans."

One of golf's most colorful personalities, Trevino won six majors - the 1968 and 1971 U.S. Open, 1971 and 1972 British Open, and 1974 and 1984 PGA Championship. Among his 29 Champions Tour victories were four majors Ŧ- the 1990 U.S. Senior Open, 1992 and 1994 PGA Seniors' Championship, and the 1992 Tradition.

After being named the PGA Tour's Rookie of the Year in 1967, Trevino went on to win five Vardon Trophies for low scoring average, and play on six U.S. Ryder Cup teams; he captained the 1985 Ryder Cup team. When he won the 1968 U.S. Open, Trevino became the first player in Open history to shoot under par and in the 60s for all four rounds. He has had many commercial and movie credits, including a role in the 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," said the tournament's executive director, Jeff Purser. "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 Leešs 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 last year's event, Fred Couples shot an impressive 18-under-par 195 in his third Champions Tour start to win by four shots. That triumph was one of four Couples notched in 2010, when he set the senior circuit's record for scoring average (67.96), finished second to 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 event has generated more than $13 million for charity, the most of any event on the Champions Tour.

The $1.7 million Toshiba Classic, the only Southern California tournament on the Champions Tour, awards $255,000 to the winner. It will be televised on Golf Channel on Friday, March 11 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. PST, Saturday, March 12 from 3:30-6:30 p.m. PST, and Sunday, March 13, from 4-6:30 p.m. PST.

Daily tickets for the Toshiba Classic are $20 if purchased in advance 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 Tickets and corporate packages are also available by calling 949/660-1001.