The PGA Tour is in Hawaii for another week, this time for the first full-field of event of 2021: the Sony Open
Last week invited an exclusive field of 42 to the Tournament of Champions on Hawaii’s island of Maui. Now, a full field of 144 has descened on Honolulu at Wailae Country Club for the Sony Open.
The event has been a staple on the PGA Tour schedule at Waialae since its inception in 1965.
Legends like Trevino, Nicklaus and Crenshaw won in the tournament’s early days.
More from Golf News
Only Augusta National, Pebble Beach and Colonial have a longer standing relationship between venue and tournament on the PGA Tour than Waialae and the Sony Open (which debuted as the Hawaiian Open).
The tournament generally draws above average fields, as it’s logistical for Tournament of Champions contestants to stick around Hawaii. Many of those who weren’t at the TOC still want to start their year in paradise.
Traditionally, the Sony Open was where we got our first look at the rookie crop. The wraparound schedule has done away with that. No new rookies are playing this season due to the pandemic anyway.
This week’s course offers a nice change of pace from Kapalua’s wide, sprawling fairways and long yardage. Waialae is a Seth Raynor design. It’s a par 70 playing just 7,044 yards. Fairways are relatively narrow and accuracy is more of a priority to negotiate the dog legs. This is a place where shorter hitters can thrive.
Justin Thomas won in 2017 and set the tournament aggregate record of 253 as a rare exception of a bomber getting it done here.
There are just two par-5s on the card, but they play as two of the easiest holes on the PGA Tour.
Waialae features Bermuda turf, which is common at southern Tour stops, particularly in Florida.
Green sizes are about Tour average, so if the wind is down and you’re in the fairway, you can go low here.
There expects to be a slight breeze this week but nothing too windy in the forecast. Temperatures are in the 60-80s with a chance of light rain early in the tournament.
The European Tour is off until next week, so all eyes in the men’s game will be on Waialae. Let’s get into this week’s top 10:
This article was updated to reflect Patrick Reed’s withdrawal on Monday.