The PGA Tour remains in Hawaii this week after the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Patton Kizzire defends the Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club.
Sony Open in Hawaii Preview, TV Times
A strong field will assemble at Waialae as many of those who competed at Kapalua have stayed on for this event. In fact, 22 players are scheduled to make the journey from Maui including Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau, Jordan Spieth and Bubba Watson.
It’s certainly an advantage to have played at Kapalua the week before the Sony Open. In the last 20 instalments of the tournament, 14 of the champions have played the previous week.
The Hawaiian Open has been contested at Waialae CC since 1965 and the list of winners is impressive – Jack Nicklaus, Hale Irwin, Ernie Els and Vijay Singh have all lifted the trophy.
Last year Patton Kizzire came through a six-hole playoff against fellow American James Hahn to win. It was the PGA Tour’s longest playoff in almost six years.
Opened for play in 1927, the course at Waialae has a long and distinguished history. The layout was originally by Seth Raynor and Charles Banks though Desmond Muirhead completed a redesign in 1990. It’s a course where the wind is often a significant factor.
The weather forecast is pretty good for the week and only light winds are predicted. That means scoring should be low.
Venue: Waialae CC, Honolulu, Hawaii
Date: Jan 10-13
Course stats: par 70, 7,044 yards
Defending champion: Patton Kizzire (-17)
How to watch the Sony Open in Hawaii
Thursday 10 – Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from midnight
Friday 11 – Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from midnight
Saturday 12 – Sky Sports Golf from midnight
Sunday 13 – Sky Sports Golf from 11.30pm and Sky Sports Main Event from midnight
Not a Sky Sports customer and want to watch the Sony Open in Hawaii?
Players to watch:
Gary Woodland – Came so close in the Sentry Tournament of Champions and he has a great record in this event with four straight top-15 finishes at Waialae since 2015.
Cam Smith – The Australian was on great form towards the end of last year, winning the Australian PGA. He’ll look to start his 2019 campaign strongly.
Charles Howell III – He’s never missed the cut in this event, in 17 appearances. He’s third in all-time earnings in the Sony Open.
Key hole: 1st. Modelled by course architect Seth Raynor on the Road Hole at St Andrews, this hole used to be a par 5. At 488 yards to a shallow green protected by a huge bunker, it generally plays to an average of almost 4.5.
Skills required: Driving accuracy. This is one of the tightest courses on the PGA Tour schedule, regularly ranking in the top-10 of most difficult fairways to find on the circuit. The greens are tough to hold when not playing in from the short stuff so finding the shortest cut will be crucial for success this week. The wind can also be a factor although perhaps not so much this week.