Sony Open In Hawaii Preview 2018
2018 Sony Open in Hawaii Preview
Dates: January 8-14, 2018
Where: Waialae Country Club; Honolulu, Hawaii
Field: 144; Format: 72-hole stroke play
Purse: $6,200,000; Winner’s Share: $1,116,000
Defending Champion: Justin Thomas
2017 FedExCup champion Justin Thomas set to defend Sony Open in Hawaii title
- Justin Thomas opened the 2017 Sony Open in Hawaii with an 11-under 59 and later added a final-round 5-under 65 on his way to a seven-shot win over Justin Rose. Overall, Thomas won five times during the 2016-17 PGA TOUR Season on his way to the FedExCup title.
- At the age of 23 years, eight months and 14 days, Thomas became the youngest player in PGA TOUR history to post a sub-60 round, topping David Duval who did so at the 1999 CareerBuilder Challenge (27 years, 2 months, 15 days). The previous low opening-round score at the Sony Open in Hawaii was 62, set on six occasions and most recently by Paul Casey and Webb Simpson in 2015.
- PGA TOUR victories (7): 2015 CIMB Classic, 2016 CIMB Classic, 2017 Sentry Tournament of Champions, 2017 Sony Open in Hawaii, 2017 PGA Championship, 2017 Dell Technologies Championship, 2017 THE CJCUP @ NINE BRIDGES.
- Thomas’ 72-hole total of 253 established a new PGA TOUR record (previously set by Tommy Armour III at the 2003 Valero Texas Open/254) and Sony Open record (besting Russell Henley’s 2013 total of 256 by three).
- Thomas became the fourth player to win the Sony Open in Hawaii in wire-to-wire fashion (no ties): Justin Thomas (2017), K.J. Choi (2008), Paul Azinger (2000), Howard Twitty (1993).
- Thomas became the first player to win the Sentry Tournament of Champions and Sony Open in Hawaii in the same season since Ernie Els in 2003.
- Thomas led by seven strokes through 54 holes, a new Sony Open in Hawaii record.
- Thomas led by five shots through 36 holes, tied with Paul Azinger (2000) and Brad Faxon (2001) for largest in Sony Open in Hawaii history.
- Thomas will be making his fourth start at the Sony Open in Hawaii (T6-2015, MC-2016, 1-2017).
- PGA TOUR records set by Justin Thomas at the 2017 Sony Open in Hawaii
- Lowest 72-hole score: 253
- Lowest 54-hole score: 188 (tied with Steve Stricker at the 2010 John Deere Classic)
- Lowest 36-hole score: 123
- Lowest opening-round score: 59 (tied with Paul Goydos at the 2010 John Deere Classic)
Sony Corporation Extends Partnership with the PGA TOUR
- Sony Corporation announced in December that it has agreed to extend its partnership with the PGA TOUR by another four years, through 2022. This year’s Sony Open in Hawaii marks the 20th year of Sony’s sponsorship, tying it for the third-longest tenured title sponsor on the PGA TOUR.
- “As we approach the 20th anniversary of Sony’s sponsorship of the Sony Open in Hawaii, it’s important to recognize the impact Sony has had on the tournament’s stability, success and growth since 1999,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “We congratulate Sony for reaching this milestone in 2018 as one of our longest continuous tournament sponsors, and we thank them for extending this outstanding partnership for another four years.”
2018 marks 53rd playing of Sony Open in Hawaii
- Longest-running PGA TOUR title sponsors
- The Honda Classic 1982
- AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am 1986
- John Deere Classic 1999
- Sony Open in Hawaii 1999
- Longest-running host courses (non-Major Championships)
- DEAN & DELUCA Invitational Colonial Country Club (1946)
- AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Pebble Beach Golf Links (1947)
- Sony Open in Hawaii Waialae Country Club (1965)
The Sony Open in Hawaii and the FedExCup
- The Sony Open in Hawaii is the 10th event in the PGA TOUR’s wraparound schedule that bridges two years with 49 official events including the FedExCup Playoffs events. The 2017-18 PGA TOUR season included eight events during the fall of 2017, all of which awarded FedExCup points. After a break following The RSM Classic, the season resumed last week at the Sentry Tournament of Champions with the traditional swing through Hawaii before moving to the West Coast.
- The FedExCup Playoffs once again feature four events, concluding in September with the TOUR Championship and the crowning of the FedExCup champion.
- In May of 2017, FedEx extended its contract as sponsor of the FedExCup by 10 years through 2027.
A closer look at the field
- FedExCup champions: Justin Thomas (2017), Jordan Spieth (2015), Bill Haas (2011), Vijay Singh (2008).
- 2017-18 tournament winners: Justin Thomas (THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES), Ryan Armour (Sanderson Farms Championship), Patton Kizzire (OHL Classic at Mayakoba), Austin Cook (The RSM Classic).
- 20 of the 34 (59 percent) players in the Sentry Tournament of Champions field are scheduled to play the Sony Open in Hawaii.
- 10 of the top 20 in the current FedExCup standings, including Patton Kizzire (3), Austin Cook (5), Justin Thomas (6), Brian Harman (9), Tony Finau (11), J.J. Spaun (12), Whee Kim (14), Marc Leishman (15), Ryan Armour (16), Cameron Smith (17).
- Seven players in the top 30 in the Official World Golf Rankings, led by Jordan Spieth (2), Justin Thomas (4), Marc Leishman (12), Brian Harman (23), Xander Schauffele (26), Kevin Kisner (27), Daniel Berger (28).
- Players in the field with eight or more PGA TOUR wins: Vijay Singh (34 wins), Zach Johnson (12), Jordan Spieth (11), K.J. Choi (8).
- Past champions: Justin Thomas (2017), Fabian Gomez (2016), Jimmy Walker (2014-15), Russell Henley (2013), Mark Wilson (2011), Ryan Palmer (2010), Zach Johnson (2009), K.J. Choi (2008), Vijay Singh (2005), Jerry Kelly (2002).
- Seven major championship winners are in the field: Vijay Singh (3), Jordan Spieth (3), Zach Johnson (2), Jason Dufner, Webb Simpson, Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker
- J.J. Henry will make his 500th PGA TOUR start at the 2018 Sony Open in Hawaii, with a T30 in 2015 the best of his eight starts at Waialae Country Club
- Jimmy Walker will make his 12th start at the Sony Open in Hawaii, led by wins in 2014 and 2015 and a fourth place finish in 2011. Prior to an opening-round 1-over 71 in 2017, Walker had posted his previous 17 rounds at Waialae Country Club in the 60s. In his last five starts at the event, he is a collective 64-under par.
- Jordan Spieth will make his third start at the Sony Open in Hawaii. After missing the cut in his debut appearance in 2014, he posted rounds of 65-67-66-63 in 2017 to finish solo-third
- 2009 Sony Open in Hawaii champion Zach Johnson will make his 13th start at Waialae Country Club, with additional top-10 finishes in 2014 (T8), 2016 (T9) and 2017 (T6).
- Charles Howell III owns nine top-10 finishes in 16 starts at the Sony Open in Hawaii (T8-2017, T8-2014, T3-2013, T2-2012, T5-2010, 4-2009, T2-2007, T3-2005, T4-2002).
- 2002 Sony Open in Hawaii champion Jerry Kelly will be making his 21st start at the Sony Open in Hawaii, including 20 straight since Sony took over sponsorship in 1999.
- Rory Sabbatini will be making his 20th consecutive start at the Sony Open in Hawaii, including runner-up finishes in 2006 and 2008.
- Vijay Singh will be making his 21st start at the Sony Open, with a win in 2005 among his four top-10s.
Sony Open in Hawaii 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; 2001 Sentry Tournament of Champions), Jack Nicklaus (1974 Sony; 1963-64, 1971, 1973, 1977 TOC); Lee Trevinon (1968 Sony; 1981 TOC); Lanny Wadkins (1988, 1991 Sony Open, 1982-83 TOC); Paul Azinger (1991 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 Sony; 2014 TOC), Justin Thomas (2017 Sony; 2017 TOC).
- Twelve of last 19 Sony Open winners have played the week prior at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
- The last player to record his first PGA TOUR victory at the Sony Open was Russell Henley (2013).
- The last player to win the event in his first try was Russell Henley (2013); prior to that was Bruce Lietzke (‘77).
- Justin Thomas (2017) holds the 72-hole record at the Sony Open with a 253 winning total.
- Nine players have made the Sony Open their first PGA 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).