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Golf: Toshiba Senior Classic, Hole by hole at Newport Beach Country

February 23, 2001

Club.

Richard Dunn

NEWPORT BEACH - The owner of Newport Beach Country Club, Beverly

Ray, will never get tired of hearing members of the Senior PGA Tour gloat

about the 47-year-old tree-lined golf course.

When Mother Nature provides the weather, the site is almost heaven

with its ocean breezes and gently rolling terrain, and only 6,584 yards

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(par 71) of golf real estate.

It has often been referred to as the perfect seniors golf course,

mostly, of course, by those who have won here (Jim Colbert and Allen

Doyle, especially) or played well.

It isn't always difficult reaching the greens, but when you do, it

isn't always easy making putts.

Hale Irwin still holds the course record at 62, accomplished in the

final round at the 1998 Toshiba Senior Classic, thanks, in large part, to

the Famous Bunker Rake at 17.

But even Irwin that day, when he passed 11 players and climbed from

five strokes down to win on Sunday, made a bogey at the par-3 No. 8.

As Newport Beach embarks on Toshiba Senior Classic VII, we bring you

our annual look at the links with a hole-by-hole glimpse.

Hole No. 1 -- Traditionally one of the easiest on the course, it's a

dogleg left and friendly start for the seniors with trees and bunkers

lining both sides of the fairway.

The 339-yard par-4 has a two-tiered green, leaving a tricky approach

shot. Birdies here are frequent.

Hole No. 2 -- The fairway is wide, but the 390-yard par-4 is uphill

from tee to green. It provided the most pars (115) on the front nine last

year.

From 1996 through '99, No. 2 ranked first in pars for the entire

tournament.

In five years at Newport Beach, however, only one eagle has been made

(David Graham in the opening round of '97).

Hole No. 3 -- The only par-5 on the front (549 yards) generally has

the seniors salivating with a green approachable in two.

Last year, the only two eagles on the front nine were made here, while

No. 3 tied with No. 1 for the most birdies yielded (35), giving the

seniors a nice start.

Hole No. 4 -- The first par-3 on the course is a scenic one, and also

favorable for the seniors, who played the water hole to the third-most

pars (109) and birdies (28) on the front last year. The green is a large

target.

Hole No. 5 -- This is where is gets tough for the seniors, a 430-yard

par-4 that ranked as the hardest hole on the golf course in 1996 and '97,

and was fourth in '98, when it was shortened 25 yards. Last year, it

ranked as the second-toughest hole (behind No. 6).It plays uphill and

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