PGA Tour Sony Open 2015 preview

The PGA Tour's first full-field event of 2015 is the Sony Open in Hawaii

Jimmy Walker
Jimmy Walker celebrates with the trophy after winning the 2014 Sony Open. Credit: Getty Images
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Golf Monthly looks ahead to the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club in Hawaii, the PGA Tour's first full-field event of 2015, where Jimmy Walker will be defending his title

Lowdown: The Sony Open is the PGA Tour’s first full-field event of 2015. Although some players are still in their winter hibernation, such as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, and others are at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, such as Rickie Fowler, a good field is assembling. Among those making their 2015 PGA Tour debuts will be Luke Donald, Sergio Garcia, Stewart Cink, John Daly and Vijay Singh.

The Hawaiian Open has been contested at Waialae since 1965. Although it is one of the tightest tracks on the PGA Tour, it tends to yield low scores.

Venue: Waialae Country Club, Hawaii Date: January 15-18 Course stats: par 70, 7,044 yards Purse:$5,600,000 Winner: $1,008,000

Defending Champion: Jimmy Walker (-17)

TV Coverage: Thursday 15 - Sky Sports 4 from 12.00am Friday 16 – Sky Sports 4 from 12.00am Saturday 17 – Sky Sports 4 from 12.00am Sunday 18 – Sky Sports 4 from 12.00am

Player Watch: Jimmy Walker - Last year’s win in the Sony Open set Jimmy Walker on the way to successful season in which he earned $6milion in prize money and took two more titles. He comes into this year’s event in good form, having only missed out on the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in a play-off on Monday.

Zach Johnson - Last year he had a successful fortnight in Hawaii winning the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua and getting a top 10 finish in the Sony Open at Waialae. This year he already has the top 10 finish - at Kapalua. “When it comes to execution with wind and trajectory control, both courses are similar and I like that kind of golf. That's kind of what I grew up playing.”

Russell Henley - He won at Waialae in 2013 shooting three rounds of 63 with 26 birdies. He is another who comes into the Sony Open is in good form, having tied for third at the Tournament Of Champions this week.

Key hole: 17th. The green is back to it’s original Seth Raynor-designed Redan-style one with a large bunker on the left and a series of four bunkers flanking the right of the green.

Roderick Easdale

Contributing Writer Golf courses and travel are Roderick’s particular interests and he was contributing editor for the first few years of the Golf Monthly Travel Supplement. He writes travel articles and general features for the magazine, travel supplement and website. He also compiles the magazine's crossword. He is a member of Trevose Golf & Country Club and has played golf in around two dozen countries. Cricket is his other main sporting love. He is the author of five books, four of which are still in print: The Novel Life of PG Wodehouse; The Don: Beyond Boundaries; Wally Hammond: Gentleman & Player and England’s Greatest Post-War All Rounder.