Sony Open in Hawaii
The Sony Open in Hawaii is a professional golf tournament on the PGA Tour, and is part of the tour's FedEx Cup Series. It has been contested at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii, since the event's modern-day inception as the Hawaiian Open in November 1965.
|Location||Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.|
|Established||1965, 55 years ago|
|Course(s)||Waialae Country Club|
|Length||7,044 yards (6,441 m)|
|Organized by||Friends of Hawaii Charities|
|Prize fund||$6.7 million|
|Aggregate||253 Justin Thomas (2017)|
|To par||−28 John Huston (1998)|
In addition to the usual PGA Tour eligibility criteria, the Sony Open may invite up to three professional golfers from emerging markets.
Originally a mid-autumn event for its first five editions, it was skipped in 1970 as it moved to its winter slot in early February 1971. Currently, it is held in mid-January and is the first full-field event of the calendar year, following the Tournament of Champions on Maui. The front and back nines of Waialae are switched for the PGA Tour event, finishing at the dogleg ninth hole.
The first lead sponsor was United Airlines in 1991, succeeded by current sponsor Sony in 1999. There have been five multiple winners of the tournament, all two-time champions: Hubert Green, Corey Pavin, Lanny Wadkins, Ernie Els, and Jimmy Walker. All have won major championships. The tournament is currently organized by Friends of Hawaii Charities.
The Sony Open gained attention for granting four consecutive sponsor invitations (PGA Tour Exemption #11) to Michelle Wie, the first in 2004 when she was age 14. She missed the cut in all four appearances, and did not receive one of the four available sponsor exemptions in 2008. One of the invitations went to Alex Ching, a 17-year-old former high school classmate of Wie.
In 2007, amateur Tadd Fujikawa become the second youngest player ever (16 years, 4 days) to make a 36-hole cut in an official PGA Tour event. His achievement was highlighted by a 15-foot (4.6 m) eagle putt on his 36th hole, Waialae's 551-yard par-5 18th. Incidentally, the PGA Tour's 2006 media guide shows that the youngest player ever to make a 36-hole cut in an official Tour event was Bob Panasik (15 years, 8 months, and 20 days) in 1957 at the Canadian Open, 3½ months younger than Fujikawa.
Preparations for the 2018 Sony Open were briefly disrupted by a false emergency alert stating that a ballistic missile had been launched toward Hawaii. Staff members reportedly attempted to take shelter in the players' locker room, the media center was ordered to evacuate, and several players posted messages on social media about the erroneous alert, which was sent to all smartphones in the state. The alert was ultimately determined to have been sent in error. Before the final round, Golf Channel cameramen also staged a walkout.
Note: Green highlight indicates scoring records.
- Previous incarnations recognized by PGA Tour
|1948||Cary Middlecoff||United States||274||−10||2,000|
|1947||Dutch Harrison||United States||275||−13||2,000|
|1929||Craig Wood||United States||289||+1||1,600|
|1928||Bill Mehlhorn||United States||291|
Five men have won this tournament more than once through 2019.
- "Gay Brewer birdies 73d, nips Goalby". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. November 8, 1965. p. 13.
- "2015–16 PGA Tour Player Handbook & Tournament Regulations" (PDF). October 5, 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 12, 2016.
- "Shaw charges, bags Hawaiian Open victory". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). wire services. February 8, 1971. p. 3B.
- "Waialae Country Club – Course Tour". Archived from the original on December 13, 2013. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
- Sony Open In Hawaii - Charity
- "Aoki's wedge shot steals golf tourney". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). UPI. February 14, 1983. p. 3B.
- "Aoki's eagle feathers PGA win". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. February 14, 1983. p. 16.
- "Wie shoots 72 at PGA tourney". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. January 16, 2004. p. C5.
- "Hawaii teen makes history". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. January 13, 2007. p. B2.
- "Finally The Teenager Makes a Cut". Golf Channel. Associated Press. January 12, 2007. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
- Sullivan, Jack (July 12, 1957). "Norman could be brightest Canadian on big-time golf tournament trail". Ottawa Citizen. (Canada). Canadian Press. p. 11.
- Kohli, Sonali; Ottey and, Michael A.W.; Chang, Heidi (January 13, 2018). "False alert of missile attack sparks panic in Hawaii". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
- "'Terrifying': False ballistic missile threat alarm sends Hawaii into panic". Hawaii News Now. January 13, 2018. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
- "Golf Channel Cameramen Walk Amid Coverage of Sony Open". ESPN. Associated Press. January 14, 2018. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
- Porter, Kyle. "Justin Thomas sets PGA Tour scoring record in stunning showing at Sony Open". CBS Sports. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
- "Huston breaks Hogan's 53-year-old record". The Irish Times. February 16, 1998. Retrieved February 26, 2019.