Sony Open in Hawaii Preview, TV Times

Patton Kizzire defends the title at Waialae Country Club

Patton Kizzire defends Sony Open in Hawaii
Patton Kizzire defends Sony Open in Hawaii
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The PGA Tour remains in Hawaii this week after the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Patton Kizzire defends the Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club.

Sony Open in Hawaii Preview, TV Times

A strong field will assemble at Waialae as many of those who competed at Kapalua have stayed on for this event. In fact, 22 players are scheduled to make the journey from Maui including Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau, Jordan Spieth and Bubba Watson.

It’s certainly an advantage to have played at Kapalua the week before the Sony Open. In the last 20 instalments of the tournament, 14 of the champions have played the previous week.

Vijay Singh won this event in 2005

Vijay Singh won this event in 2005

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 year Patton Kizzire came through a six-hole playoff against fellow American James Hahn to win. It was the PGA Tour’s longest playoff in almost six years.

Waialae Country Club

Waialae Country Club

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.

The weather forecast is pretty good for the week and only light winds are predicted. That means scoring should be low.

Venue: Waialae CC, Honolulu, Hawaii Date: Jan 10-13 Course stats: par 70, 7,044 yards Purse: $6,400,000 Defending champion: Patton Kizzire (-17)

How to watch the Sony Open in Hawaii

TV Coverage: Thursday 10 – Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from midnight Friday 11 – Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from midnight Saturday 12 – Sky Sports Golf from midnight Sunday 13 – Sky Sports Golf from 11.30pm and Sky Sports Main Event from midnight

Not a Sky Sports customer and want to watch the Sony Open in Hawaii?

BUY NOW: Now TV Sky Sports Pass – £7.99 for a day, £12.99 for a week or £33.99 for a month

Players to watch:

Gary Woodland – Came so close in the Sentry Tournament of Champions and he has a great record in this event with four straight top-15 finishes at Waialae since 2015.

Cam Smith – The Australian was on great form towards the end of last year, winning the Australian PGA. He’ll look to start his 2019 campaign strongly.

Charles Howell III – He’s never missed the cut in this event, in 17 appearances. He’s third in all-time earnings in the Sony Open.

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 generally 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 can also be a factor although perhaps not so much this week.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?