Stan Badz/PGA Tour
The PGA Tour continues its Hawaiian swing with the Sony Open taking place this weekend January 9-12. The tournament takes place at the Waialae Country Club for the 55th straight year, making it one of the longest serving hosts on the PGA Tour. The event is the first full-field PGA Tour event of the new year and will provide an excellent opportunity to consolidate FedEx Cup standings before the hectic home stretch.
The Sony Open was first contested in 1965 as the Hawaiian Open, moving to its traditional winter spot in 1971. The tournament has been the site of several notable wins, including the 1983 win of Isao Aoki, the first for a Japanese golfer on the PGA Tour. It also controversially granted a sponsor exemption for a 14 year old Michelle Wie in 2004 when Wie was only 14. The tournament has seen 5 multiple winners: Hubert Green, Lanny Wadkins, Corey Pavin, Ernie Els, and Jimmy Walker all with 2 wins. Other winners include Justin Thomas, Zach Johnson, Vijay Singh, Mark O’Meara, Gay Brewer and defending champion Matt Kuchar.
Japan's first PGA Tour winner Isao Aoki at the Sony Open
Kuchar will try and join the ranks of multiple winners and be the first repeat champion since Jimmy Walker in 2014-2015. Standing in his way will be a strong field, including Justin Thomas, a winner in 2017 when he carded the lowest score in tournament history. Corey Connors returns to the event that jump-started his PGA Tour career last year when he progressed through the Monday qualifiers to end the week with a T3 finish. Other challengers include Brendon Todd, who looks to be having a career year with 2 wins already this season. Todd is a testament to perseverance after considering retirement as recently as 2018 following a few bad years and time spent back on developmental tours. The local favorite will be Collin Morikawa who has numerous family members scattered around Hawaii and though 22 already has 1 PGA Tour win under his belt. The one to watch for nostalgic golfers is hall of famer Vijay Singh, teeing up as a former champion at the age of 56.
Defending Champion Matt Kuchar. Getty Images
Television coverage is provided by the Golf Channel, Thursday-Saturday, 7-10:30pm ET. Coverage of the final round is Sunday, 6-10pm ET. Radio commentary is available through PGA Tour Radio on SiriusXM and at PGATour.com/liveaudio.