2020 Sony Open Preview

2020 Sony Open Preview

2020 Sony Open Preview

Dates: January 6-12, 2020
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Course: Waialae Country Club
Par/Yards: 70/7,044
Defending champion: Matt Kuchar
Purse: $6,600,000/$1,188,000
FedExCup: 500 points to the winner
Format: 72-hole stroke play
Field: 144

Things to Know

  • After earning his 12th PGA TOUR victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, FedExCup leader Justin Thomas seeks his second Sony Open in Hawaii title
  • In 2017, Thomas joined Ernie Els as the only players to win the Sentry Tournament of Champions and Sony Open in Hawaii in the same season
  • Five of the last six winners of the event entered the week in the top 10 of the FedExCup standings
  • Brendon Todd looks to become the third straight reigning Mayakoba Golf Classic champion to win the Sony Open in Hawaii in the same season; Patton Kizzire and Matt Kuchar accomplished the feat the last two seasons
  • Defending champion Matt Kuchar hoping to become the fifth player to win back-to-back at the Sony Open
  • 22 of the 34 players in the Sentry Tournament of Champions field are scheduled to play

Field Notes

  • 17 of the top 30 in the current FedExCup standings, led by each of the top four: Justin Thomas (1), Brendon Todd (2), Sebastian Munoz (3) and Lanto Griffin (4)
  • 12 players ranked inside the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking, including Justin Thomas (4), Patrick Reed (11) and Webb Simpson (12)
  • 22 of the 34 players in the Sentry Tournament of Champions field, including playoff participants Justin Thomas and Patrick Reed
  • Six 2019-20 PGA TOUR Season winners: Joaquin Niemann (A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier), Sebastian Munoz (Sanderson Farms Championship), Lanto Griffin (Houston Open), Justin Thomas (THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES, Sentry Tournament of Champions), Brendon Todd (Bermuda Championship, Mayakoba Golf Classic), Tyler Duncan (The RSM Classic)
  • 10 past Sony Open champions: Jerry Kelly (2002), Vijay Singh (2005), Zach Johnson (2009), Ryan Palmer (2010), Russell Henley (2013), Jimmy Walker (2014, 2015), Fabian Gomez (2016), Justin Thomas (2017), Patton Kizzire (2018), Matt Kuchar (2019)

FedExCup and the Sony Open in Hawaii

  • The 2019-20 PGA TOUR Season marks the 14th season of the FedExCup and includes the second edition of the Wyndham Rewards Top 10, where the top 10 players in the FedExCup at the conclusion of the Regular Season earn a share of $10 million
  • Since the TOUR went to a wraparound schedule in 2013-14, five of the six winners of the Sony Open in Hawaii entered the week in the top 10 of the FedExCup standings (Jimmy Walker/2nd/2014, Walker/8th/2015, Justin Thomas/2nd/2017, Patton Kizzire/3rd/2018, Matt Kuchar/9th/2019)
  • FedExCup leader Justin Thomas is the only player to win the Sony Open and go on to win the FedExCup in the same season (2016-17)
  • 9 of 13 Sony Open winners in the FedExCup era have gone on to qualify for the TOUR Championship in that season; most recently, Matt Kuchar finished 16th in 2019-20
  • Three FedExCup champions in the field: Vijay Singh (2008), Brandt Snedeker (2012), Justin Thomas (2017)

Current FedExCup standings

The top 10 in the FedExCup at the conclusion of the PGA TOUR Regular Season will be recognized through the Wyndham Rewards Top 10 program and be well-positioned entering the FedExCup Playoffs.

Position Player Points Wins Top-10s Starts Points Behind Projected Bonus
1 Justin Thomas 1,162 2 3 4 $2 million
2 Brendon Todd 987 2 3 9 175 $1.5 million
3 Sebastian Munoz 867 1 3 8 295 $1.2 million
4 Lanto Griffin 800 1 1 9 362 $1.1 million
5 Rory McIlroy 713 1 2 2 449 $1 million
6 Joaquin Niemann 692 1 2 7 470 $850,000
7 Cameron Champ 636 1 1 6 526 $700,000
8 Xander Schauffele 630 3 3 532 $600,000
9 Kevin Na 627 1 1 6 535 $550,000
10 Sungae Im 599 2 6 562 $500,000

Matt Kuchar set to defend 2019 Sony Open in Hawaii victory

  • Seeking to join the following players who have won back-to-back at the Sony Open: Hubert Green (1978, 1979), Corey Pavin (1986, 1987), Ernie Els (2003, 2004), Jimmy Walker (2014, 2015)
  • Finished no worse than T13 in his last six starts at the Sony Open (T5/2011, T5/2013, T8/2014, T3/2015, T13/2016, Won/2019)
  • Earned ninth PGA TOUR victory at the 2019 Sony Open in Hawaii and collected his 100th top-10 finish
  • Score of 258 tied the 10th-lowest score in PGA TOUR history in 72-hole events
  • Converted 54-hole lead/co-lead to victory for the fourth time in eight attempts (wins: 2019 Sony Open in Hawaii, 2018 Mayakoba Golf Classic, 2013 the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, 2009 Turning Stone Resort Championship)
  • Third defending champion of the Mayakoba Golf Classic to win the Sony Open in Hawaii since 2011 and second consecutive (Johnson Wagner, 2011 Mayakoba/2012 Sony Open; Patton Kizzire, 2017 Mayakoba/2018 Sony Open)
  • Wins (9): 2019 Sony Open in Hawaii, 2018 Mayakoba Golf Classic, 2014 RBC Heritage, 2013 the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, 2013 World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play, 2012 THE PLAYERS Championship, 2010 THE NORTHERN TRUST, 2009 Turning Stone Resort Championship, 2002 The Honda Classic

2017 winner and FedExCup leader Justin Thomas seeks second consecutive win on TOUR

  • Coming off a win at last week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions, Justin Thomas seeks to win both Hawaii events in the same season for the second time in his career; became the second player to achieve the feat when he did so in 2017, joining Ernie Els (2003)
  • Winningest player among active players in their 20s (12)
  • Joined Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus as the only players to win 12 times before turning 27 in the last 60 years
  • Has three wins in his last six starts (2019 BMW Championship, 2019 THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES, 2020 Sentry Tournament of Champions)
  • Winning score of 253 at 2017 Sony Open in Hawaii represents lowest 72-hole score in PGA TOUR history

Miscellaneous Player Notes

  • Charles Howell III has collected 10 top-10 finishes and has never missed a cut in 18 starts at the Sony Open in Hawaii; he is the all-time leading money winner at the event despite never having won it ($2,832,232)
  • Jimmy Walker’s Sony Open history includes back-to-back wins in 2014 and 2015 and a fourth-place finish in 2011
  • 2009 Sony Open champion Zach Johnson has additional top-10 finishes in 2014 (T8), 2016 (T9) and 2017 (T6)

Longest-running PGA TOUR title sponsors

The Honda Classic                               1982
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am              1986
Sony Open in Hawaii                          1999
John Deere Classic                              1999

Longest-running host courses (non-Major Championships)

Charles Schwab Challenge Colonial Country Club (1946)
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Pebble Beach Golf Links (1947)
Sony Open in Hawaii Waialae Country Club (1965)

Tournament Notes

  • Ernie Els (2003) and Justin Thomas (2017) are the only players to win the Sony Open in Hawaii and Sentry Tournament of Champions back-to-back in the same season
  • Ten players have won each of the PGA TOUR’s Hawaii events at least once: Jim Furyk (1996 Sony Open in Hawaii; 2001 Sentry Tournament of Champions), Jack Nicklaus (1974 Sony; 1963-64, 1971, 1973, 1977 TOC), Lee Trevino (1968 Sony; 1981 TOC), Lanny Wadkins (1988, 1991 Sony Open, 1982-83 TOC), Paul Azinger (2000 Sony; 1990 TOC), Mark O’Meara (1985 Sony; 1996 TOC), Ernie Els (2003-04 Sony; 2003 TOC), Vijay Singh (2005 Sony; 2007 TOC), Zach Johnson (2009, 2012 Sony; 2014 TOC), Justin Thomas (2017 Sony; 2017, 2020 TOC)
  • The last player to win the event in his tournament debut was Russell Henley (2013); prior to that was Bruce Lietzke (1977)
  • Nine players have made the Sony Open their first TOUR win: Ted Makalena (1966), Grier Jones (1972), John Schlee (1973), Gary Groh (1975), Isao Aoki (1983), David Ishii (1990), John Morse (1995), Jerry Kelly (2002), Russell Henley (2013)
  • In the last 14 years (since 2006), nine of the 54-hole leaders/co-leaders have gone on to capture the Sony Open in Hawaii; in 2019, Matt Kuchar carried a two-stroke 54-hole lead
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