Hoag Hospital began its journey in professional golf in 1975 with the Crosby Southern Pro-Am. Nearly 50 years later, Hoag has accomplished more than anyone could have imagined since that first event at Newport Beach Country Club.
In 1974, Bing Crosby, internationally renowned singer, actor and future World Golf Hall of Fame member, was looking for a place to hold a satellite event for golf professionals who missed the cut at this famous Pebble Beach Pro-Am Tournament. Marshall Duffield, a friend of Crosby who was a Hoag Hospital 552 Club and Newport Beach (Irvine Coast) Country Club member, enlisted his friend Charley Hester, another 552 Club member, to negotiate a deal for a tournament benefitting Hoag. Crosby put up $10,000 in prize money for the first tournament, and in 1975 the first Crosby Southern Pro-Am was held in Newport Beach.
Over the next 22 years, many future stars of the PGA TOUR visited the tournament – renamed the Newport Classic Pro-Am in 1987, and the Taco Bell Newport Classic from 1993-1997. In that two decade plus span, the total net proceeds raised for Hoag totaled over $2,300,000.
In the spring of 1997, the Senior PGA TOUR (now PGA TOUR Champions) approached Hoag to take over operations of the local TOUR event, and in the fall Hoag began its new venture as host and manager of the Toshiba Senior Classic.
Although the Toshiba Senior Classic had existed in the community for three years under different management, Hoag was essentially starting a brand new tournament with only five months to prepare. Hank Adler, who had chaired the Taco Bell Newport Classic, and Jake Rohrer, who had chaired several of the previous tournaments, took on new leadership roles as co-chairmen. Hank was instrumental in transitioning Newport Classic sponsors to the Toshiba Senior Classic and soliciting new sponsors, while Jake focused on the crucial task of recruiting and organizing 1,000 volunteers. Newport Beach Country Club continued its important partnership as host club.
The tournament became an instant success, as the partnership of Hoag, Toshiba, Newport Beach Country Club, and the PGA TOUR proved to be a magical formula. The 1998 tournament quickly raised over $700,000 for charity, and two short years later Hoag produced the first PGA TOUR Champions tournament to ever raise $1,000,000 for charity.
After two successful decades, including crossing the $20 million charitable threshold, Hoag assumed title sponsorship in 2019 and the event became the Hoag Classic.
2020– ERNIE ELS
Ernie Els earned his first victory in just his third Champions TOUR start. The South African, World Golf Hall of Fame member earned a two-stroke victory over Fred Couples, Robert Karlsson and Glen Day. Els birdied three of his final seven holes coming down the stretch – including No. 18 – on his way to capturing the title.
2019 – KIRK TRIPLETT
Kirk Triplett birdied the 18th hole to finish at 3-under 68 and won the championship with a 12-foot eagle putt on the second playoff hole to defeat Woody Austin. Triplett became the 24th annual Hoag Classic champion by closing with a three-day total of 203 (-10). The win is Triplett’s seventh on PGA TOUR Champions, and this is the sixth year in eight seasons on TOUR he has claimed a title.
2018 – VIJAY SINGH
World Golf Hall of Famer, Vijay Singh came out victorious at the 2018 Toshiba Classic with a 5-under 66 for a three-day total of 11-under 202. Singh edged Tommy Tolles, Tom Pernice Jr. and Scott McCarron to win for the first time as an individual on the PGA TOUR Champions.
2016 & 2007 – JAY HAAS
Jay Haas birdied the first playoff hole to defeat Bart Bryant and win the Toshiba Classic for the second time in his career. At the age of 62 years, 10 months, 7 days, Haas is the second-oldest winner in PGA TOUR Champions history and just the fourth player in TOUR history with multiple victories in his 60s.
2015 – DUFFY WALDORF
After tying the tournament record with an 11-under-par 60, Duffy Waldorf closed with an adventurous 5-under-par 66 to claim his first Champions Tour title as he held off players like Fred Couples and Kenny Perry. Waldorf matched the Champions Tour mark for the most birdies in a 54-hole event with 26.
2014 & 2010 – FRED COUPLES
Fred Couples broke through what was at one point a nine-way tie for the lead, when he birdied the 18th hole and clinched his second Toshiba Classic title. Couples birdied his last two holes and shot 65-67-66—198, 15 under par, in a one-shot victory. In 2010, making his Toshiba Classic debut, Couples rolled to a four-stroke victory after three rounds in blustery conditions with a total of 195 – only one-stroke short of the tournament record
2013 – DAVID FROST
South African David Frost captured his fourth Champions Tour title by shooting a final round 65 to defeat 2010 champion Fred Couples by five strokes. Frost became the fifth wire-to-wire winner and tied the tournament record of 19-under par 194 set in 2007 by champion Jay Haas.
2012 – LOREN ROBERTS
Loren Roberts punctuated his final round with a 10-foot putt for a birdie on the par 5 18th finishing hole to shoot a 69 and capture his 13th Champions Tour victory. The “Boss of the Moss” and two-time Charles Schwab Cup Champion battled wind and other gusty conditions to capture his first win since the 2010 season.
2011 – NICK PRICE
Nick Price, a three-time major champion on the PGA TOUR, began the week by shooting a course, tournament, and Champions Tour record score of 60, capped off by a dramatic chip in for eagle on the par 5 18th finishing hole. While others pursued him throughout, it was Price who prevailed with two rounds of 68 on the weekend to win by one stroke and become the fourth wire-to-wire champion in Toshiba Classic history.
2009 – EDUARDO ROMERO
A final round 68, which included four birdies in the first six holes on the back nine on Sunday, propelled Romero to a one stroke victory over Mark O’Meara and Joey Sindelar. His back nine charge at Newport Beach Country Club gave Romero his 100th career worldwide professional victory.
2008 – BERNHARD LANGER
In yet another memorable finish in Toshiba Classic history, Bernhard Langer won a seven-hole playoff over defending champion Jay Haas to win in his inaugural visit to Newport Beach. Langer, a two-time Masters Champion, birdied the final hole of regulation to force the playoff and then held off Haas in the playoff.
2006 – BRAD BRYANT
In the final round of the 2006 Toshiba Classic, Brad Bryant rallied for victory with birdies on five of his final eight holes, including the last hole of regulation to clinch the victory. Bryant’s final round of 66 gave him a three-day total of 9-under par 204 and his first PGA Champions Tour victory.
2005 – MARK JOHNSON
In one of the most thrilling finishes in the history of the PGA Champions Tour, tour rookie Mark Johnson holed out from 91 yards for eagle on the 18th hole on Sunday to capture his first professional victory. In 2006, Johnson almost became the first back-to-back winner of the Toshiba Classic, but fell one stroke shy of a playoff.
2004 – TOM PURTZER
Tom Purtzer opened the tournament with a new course record round of 60 and never looked back. A three-day total of fifteen under par capped off with a final round 67 put the finishing touches on one of the most memorable tournaments. Purtzer’s round of 60 still stands as the lowest round ever shot in the history of the PGA Champions Tour.
2003 – RODGER DAVIS
Rodger Davis carried a two-stroke lead into the final round of the 2003 Toshiba Classic and with birdies on three of his last eight holes, ran away with a four-stroke victory. His final round 68 carried him to a 54-hole score of 197, one stroke off the 54-hole tournament record set the previous year.
2002 & 1998 – HALE IRWIN
As the first two-time champion, Hale Irwin has clearly left his mark on the Toshiba Classic. In 1998, a final round, course record 62 propelled him to a one-stroke victory one of his six wins on the season. 2002 offered more of the same as Irwin shattered the tournament record with a 17-under par score and a 5-stroke victory. Both victories helped Irwin claim Champions Tour Player of the Year honors.
2001 – JOSE MARIA CANIZARES
In the second nine hole playoff in five years, Jose Maria Canizares rolled in a 21-foot birdie putt to defeat Gil Morgan and claim his first PGA Champions Tour victory. Canizares worked his way into the playoff from five strokes back at the start of the final round, tying a Toshiba Classic record.
2000 – ALLEN DOYLE
Allen Doyle claimed the 2000 Toshiba Classic with birdies on five of his last eight holes during the final round to win by one stroke over Jim Thorpe and Howard Twitty. In all, Doyle has posted seven top-10 finishes at the Toshiba Classic, including his win in 2000 and runner up finishes in 1999 and 2002.
1999 – GARY MCCORD
Gary McCord claimed his first PGA Champions Tour victory in a rousing playoff with John Jacobs, Allen Doyle and Al Geiberger. In what is still considered one of the greatest finishes in Champions Tour history, McCord made birdie on the fifth playoff hole to secure the victory.
1997 – BOB MURPHY
Bob Murphy outlasted Jay Sigel in what was then the longest playoff in PGA Champions Tour history. The nine-hole playoff dramatically ended when Murphy rolled in an electrifying 80-foot birdie putt on the two-tiered 17th green to capture a sudden-death victory that was anything but sudden.
1996 – JIM COLBERT
Jim Colbert entered the final round at the inaugural Toshiba Classic at Newport Beach Country Club with a 5 shot lead and cruised to a 2-shot victory in becoming the tournament’s first wire-to-wire champion. His title helped pave the way to a second consecutive PGA Champions Tour Player of the Year award.
1995 – GEORGE ARCHER
George Archer triumphed at the 1995 Toshiba Classic, the only time the event was held outside of Newport Beach Country Club. In what would prove to be a pattern at the Toshiba Classic, Archer squeaked out a narrow one-stroke victory, shooting a final round 64 capped off by his tournament-clinching 25-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole.