Toledo anxious to defend Allianz Championship title
Esteban Toledo returned to the scene of his latest golf triumph Wednesday, using his dry humor to entertain at the Allianz Championship's annual Media Day at Broken Sound Golf Club.
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. 10-12. "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. Martin County resident 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 event. 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.
All events listed will be held at The Old Course at Broken Sound at 1401 NW 51st Street in Boca Raton: