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Toshiba Classic Notebook: Rain may be a pain

By Steve Virgen

1:52 AM EDT, March 17, 2012

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The players at the Toshiba Classic will most likely face big-time challenges with rain expected Saturday.

The weather also figures to be a challenge for the volunteers at Newport Beach Country Club.

Brian Horn, the Toshiba Classic volunteer chairman, said there are close to 800 volunteers at this year's Toshiba. The challenge for them will be scheduling. If there are delays on Saturday that could ruin plans for many of the volunteers, who are assigned a set amount of hours throughout the day.

"We can't stress about what we can't control," Horn said of the rain. "You have all these volunteers that are working here at a scheduled time. It has to be adjusted when you have a weather issue."

Aside from the weather, Horn remains grateful for the volunteers.

"We only have five full-time paid employees," Horn said. "It's just great to see the community come together and rally together as a team. To put together an event like this is really special. We literally could not do it without the volunteers."

Each person must pay $20 to be a volunteer. They receive a uniform for their payment. Horn also helped to find a way to feed the volunteers throughout the week. He asked local restaurants to donate food to feed the volunteers.

On Sunday night, the Toshiba Classic puts on the volunteer appreciation party that features awards and raffle giveaways.

"I continually get comments about how well the volunteers are treated here versus other tournaments," Horn said. "That's a statement about our tight-knit community. They are just giving from their heart."

Bruce Lietzke (shoulder) and Dave Stockton (back) withdrew from the tournament. Lietzke withdrew before the first round and was replaced by Mike McCullough. Stockton pulled out after five holes.

Jim Colbert bettered his age for the second time in his career when he fired a two-under-par 69 on Friday. The 71-year-old Colbert had bettered his age in the opening round in 2009 when he shot a five-under 66 at age 67. He also matched his age on two occasions.

Toshiba Classic defending champion Nick Price opened with a one-under-par 70 and is tied for 36th.

Bernhard Langer, the 2008 Toshiba champ, opened with a six-under 65 for the fourth time in five starts in this tournament. Langer's bogey-free round included an eagle on the par-four sixth hole. He drained an eight-iron from 143 yards for his eagle.

steve.virgen@latimes.com

Twitter: @SteveVirgen