Brian Lindley and Debbie Fleming have had unique experiences at the 19th Toshiba Classic. But there's something they have in common that involves Newport Beach Country Club.
They are the club champions working as volunteers at the Toshiba Classic.
Lindley, who has won the NBCC men's championship three times, is working as a scorer. He tracked Tom Lehman, Rocco Mediate and Mark Wiebe on Saturday. He'll be a scorer for Craig Stadler, Mark McNulty and Jeff Sluman in Sunday's final round.
Lindley can identify with the players, not just because the event is at Newport Beach. Lindley was also a pro from May of 1982 to January of '83. He said his last pro event was the Little Crosby Pro-Am at Newport Beach.
"I shot about 80 and they handed me $100 and that was it," Lindley said.
Now, Lindley is excited to see a pro event at his home course. It's his first time being a volunteer at the Toshiba Classic because he's usually on vacation when the tournament is in town.
"The most exciting thing for me is to envision like I am playing in the tournament," said Lindley, who's been a NBCC member for eight years. "And this has the best advantage. I'm inside the ropes and I'm walking with the players. You can see the shots that they hit. The best part is that you don't have to beat yourself up afterward about all the shots you missed."
After his pro golf stint, Lindley returned to his original field of work as an engineer. He also has worked in the business of retrieving golf balls, as well as a golf club company and now is a database manager for an investment advising company.
"I like numbers," Lindley said. "That's why I'm a good scorer."
Fleming, a four-time ladies champion at Newport Beach, has enjoyed working as a volunteer at the practice range this week. During Pro-Am action, she showed up at the course at 5:45 a.m.
"I think it's a lot fun," Fleming said of being a volunteer for a second time. "To see the club and to have everyone see such great golf here, it just makes me proud that I'm representing the ladies here as their champion and a volunteer."
Fleming, a longtime NBCC member, is at the club just about every day these days. She is retired after 30 years of teaching. She worked at Los Alamitos, where she also coached swimming and tennis and was the girls' athletic director. Her swim teams won three CIF Southern Section titles and her tennis team won one.
Recently she was named to the CIF Southern Section Hall of Fame.
Fleming said she plans to volunteer at the Toshiba Classic next year.
This year there are about 650 volunteers, said Cal Rietzel. He and his wife, Sue, are in their first year as co-chairs of the volunteers. Brian Horn, the former volunteer chairman, now works as a co-chair for the advisory committee and community outreach.
"There are some really incredibly dedicated people that spend any where from two to seven days as a volunteer," Rietzel said. "Most spend four to seven days."
Volunteers usually pay a fee for uniforms and registration. This year they are using the same uniform as last year, so most paid the $20 registration fee, Rietzel said.
"It provides an incentive and commitment to do the job," Rietzel said of paying to be a volunteer. "I'm not sure if this group would need it. It's another way to show that they are invested and committed to their job."
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