Sony Open Preview

Golf Ball and Flag

The PGA Tour remains in Hawaii for the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu from January 10-13 in what is the first full tournament field of the year.

Fresh from the first event of the year – last week’s Tournament of Champions, the PGA Tour remains on the stunning Pacific island as Patton Kizzire bids to defend his Sony Open title.

Kizzire won a playoff with James Hahn to be crowned champion in 2018 after both finished on 17-under par.

Sony Open History

The Sony Open was known as the Hawaiian Open when it was first staged in 1965 and has carried its current sponsored title since 1999.

It is the first event of the PGA Tour year featuring a full field, coming one week after the Tournament of Champions which is for the previous year’s winners only.

The tournament has only ever been played at one venue – the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu – and had a stellar list of form winners which include two-time champions Hubert Green, Lanny Wadkins, Corey Pavin, Ernie Els and Jimmy Walker as well as the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Ben Crenshaw, Hale Irwin, Mark O’Meara, Jim Furyk, Vijay Singh, Zach Johnson and Justin Thomas.

Michelle Wie controversially played in the event on four occasions as part of a sponsors invite from Sony, missing the cut each time – the first of which was in 2004 as a 14-year-old.

Sony Open Course

The Waialae Country Club is located in Honolulu and was first created in 1927. It has hosted the Sony Open since 1965.

The course poses a par-70 challenge measuring 7,044 yards, and features some stunning holes along the shores of the Pacific Ocean.

Justin Thomas set a new tournament score of 253 (27-under) when winning the Sony Open in 2017.

Sony Open Contenders

Justin Thomas is favourite to win a second Sony Open title having set a new tournament record of 27-under (253) when winning by seven shots from Justin Rose two years ago. He warmed up for this with third at the Tournament of Champions.

Along with defending champion Kizzire, Zach Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Fabian Gomez, Russell Henley, and Vijay Singh are other former winners in the line-up who know how to get the job done at Waialae. Walker, in fact, is bidding to become the first-ever three-time winner.

Joining Thomas at the top of betting markets are Bryson Dechambeau and Gary Woodland, who both enjoyed strong weekends at the Tournament of Champions in finishing seventh and runner-up respectively.

Jordan Spieth makes his first appearance of 2019 as he looks to rediscover his best golf, while Marc Leishman will be popular following a T4 finish last week.

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