First annual Toshiba Skills Challenge benefits Hoag Hospital's diabetes clinic
March 13, 2013
By Phil Stambaugh, PGA TOUR Staff
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.—Toshiba Classic executive director Jeff Purser must be spending more time on the golf course than anyone realizes. Purser’s clutch chip shot to within 18 inches of the cup earned his team the two points needed to edge Esteban Toledo’s team in the first annual Toshiba Skills Challenge competition at Newport Beach Country Club on Tuesday morning.
The event format featured four teams comprised of an avid golfing celebrity, a Champions Tour player, a VIP and a member of the media. Each team participated in three skills challenges—a long drive, a 125-yard approach shot and a chip shot.
Purser’s team, which also included Champions Tour player John Cook, former Major League Baseball player Steve Finley and John Howard, a sports reporter from Channel 8 in San Diego, earned a cumulative 23 points, nipping Toledo’s foursome by one point, a teach that featured Dustin “Duddy B” Bushnell, the founder of a popular Southern California-based reggae group The Dirty Heads, Matt “Money” Smith, co-host of Fox Sports Radio’s “Petros and Money Show” and Patrick Mani, the vice president of field sales at Toshiba America Information Systems.
A $50,000 donation was made in the name of Team Cook to Hoag Hospital’s Mary & Dick Allen Diabetes Center.
“Jeff came through with the key chip at the end. I certainly didn’t help out that much,” Cook said. “Anything we can do early in the tournament week to create more revenue for the foundations that you play for is all good. We are glad to help out the hospital and help out the kids. Anytime something like this can happen, it’s a good thing.”
Gary McCord’s team, which included Anaheim Angels baseball great Garret Anderson, Jerry Mattes, the president of UPS and John Reger, a long-time golf writer in Orange County, finished third. Fuzzy Zoeller’s team finished last and included 2004 Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart, ESPN SportsCenter co-host Stan Verrett and Mark Simons, the president of Toshiba America Information Systems.
“This is the first time we’ve done this skills challenge, and I think everyone who participated enjoyed themselves. I was glad to be on the winning team, but more importantly I think Hoag Hospital was the big beneficiary from this event,” Purser said. “I think it was a great way to kick off our tournament week.”
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