Eight World Golf Hall of Famers will be teeing it up at the Toshiba Classic: Fred Couples, Ben Crenshaw, Hale Irwin, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Colin Montgomerie, Curtis Strange, and Tom Watson. It should be another exciting weekend on the Champions Tour with so much talent in the field.
Today, I watched Fuzzy Zoeller, John Jacobs, Tommy Armour III, and Jeff Hart play a practice round.
Fuzzy is a jokester who enjoys giving his playing partners a hard time. He plays 70s rock music in his cart, smokes cigarettes, and sings to himself. At one point, a spectator said his ball made a good bounce off a tree, and Zoeller replied, “Well I am a good player.”
John Jacobs is 68-years-old and is a five-time winner on the Champions Tour. He played most of the front nine with a cigar in his mouth. Jacobs and Zoeller are two players who seem to enjoy life to the fullest.
It was cool to see Tommy Armour III out there. I remember watching him scorch the field at the 2003 Valero Texas Open . Armour still bombs his driver, so he will rely on his wedge game on the 6,600-yard course.
Jeff Hart is a journeyman golfer who is having success as a member of the Champions Tour. Hart has earned $833,960 in 44 events on the Champions Tour, which is more than he earned in 181 events as a member of the PGA Tour.
Newport Beach Country Club is a fairly short course, so the players will need to stay aggressive and make tons of birdies. However, it is important to stay below the hole because the greens are slick.
The kikuyu grass will give the California players an edge this week. It isn’t impossible to play from kikuyu, but it makes enough of a difference that local knowledge/feel is helpful.