Toledo All Smiles as he Prepares to Defend Allianz Championship
Toledo, a former professional fighter who had to change careers after an injury, talked about how wonderful it felt last year to make a 3 ½-foot par putt on the third playoff hole to beat Billy Andrade for his fourth PGA Tour Champions title. Toledo celebrated with a fist pump.
“I throw a left hook,” said Toledo, who defends his title when the Allianz Championship is held for the 11th time at Broken Sound on Feb. 6-12. “Chi Chi (Rodriguez) has his thing. I have mine.”
Toledo will have to be at his best to defend against a field that’s expected to include two-time major champion John Daly, who turned 50 last year, and Miguel Angel Jimenez, a.k.a. the Most Interesting Golfer In the World.
The all-star field also includes three former major winners as past champions – Boca Raton’s Bernhard Langer, Tom Lehman and Corey Pavin – as well as Hall of Famers Colin Montgomerie, Mark O’Meara, Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw.
David Toms, another major champion, is making his rookie debut at the Allianz Championship. Colorful Jesper Parnevik also will have a large gallery following him.
Toledo, who grew up dirt-poor in Mexico, could relax a little easier Wednesday than the last time he was at Broken Sound. Eleven months ago, he won a tense playoff for the third time, and each has oddly come on the third hole.
“Being in a playoff isn’t easy because there’s a lot of pressure and nerves,” Toledo said. “Sometimes I surprise myself by how well I play in tough conditions.”
The Allianz Championship remains the Champion Tour’s first full-field event. In a month, Toledo and many of the game’s most popular players will return to The Old Course at Broken Sound for the Allianz Championship. Four of the last seven tournaments have required playoffs.
“The reason they have such a great field is it’s a wonderful golf course,” said 2015 Allianz Championship winner Paul Goydos. “The golf course is as good as we play all year.”
Broken Sound has been chosen as the Overall and National Private recipient of the 2017 Environmental Leaders in Golf Awards. The honors are presented by Golf Digest and the National Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.
In addition to three days of championship play, the Allianz Championship features a Women’s Day with a clinic and Pro-Am with LGPA Player Lexi Thompson and two days of Championship Pro-Am play pairing participants with PGA professionals.
Returning to the Allianz Championship this year is the newly renamed Celebrity Cruises Sunset Lounge and turf club located on the exciting 16th green. Spectators can enjoy ‘cool’ beverage options while enjoying Celebrity’s curated menu of flavor-rich and fresh frozen cocktails. The Sunset Lounge will feature alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails with perfectly balanced ingredients ranging from fresh pressed lemon juice, raspberries, cucumbers and mint to Persian lime, Florida Valencia and Hamlin orange juice with organic agave nectar.