The PGA Tour remains in Hawaii this week after the weather-affected Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Johnson Wagner defends the Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club.
Wagner will face strong competition from a field that’s set to include 19 men who played at Kapalua in the Hyundai. The tournament will also feature all 25 men who graduated from the 2012 Web.com Tour and 20 of those who made it through PGA Tour Q school in December.
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 season’s tournament was very closely contested with 11 players within a shot of the lead at one point during the final round. In the end it was Johnson Wagner who came out on top for a third career PGA Tour victory. He pushed Charles Howell III, Carl Pettersson, Sean O’Hair and Harrison Frazar into a tie for second.
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.
Venue: Waialae Country Club, Honolulu, Hawaii
Date: Jan 10-13
Course stats: par 70, 7,068 yards
Purse: $5,600,000 Winner: $990,000
Defending Champion: Johnson Wagner (-13)
Sony Open in Hawaii TV Coverage:
Thursday 10 – Sky Sports 3 from 12 midnight
Friday 11 – Sky Sports 3 from 12 midnight
Saturday 12 – Sky Sports 3 12 midnight
Sunday 13 – Sky Sports 3 from 12 midnight
Carl Pettersson – Last season’s runner-up and an ever-consistent performer, Pettersson will look to go one better this time.
Mark Wilson – The 2011 winner’s game is definitely suited to this course and he tends to perform well early in the season.
Brendon de Jonge – Will look to continue his excellent finish to the 2012 season.
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 now 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 will also be a factor.