From Maui to Oahu the PGA Tour goes this week for the Sony Open in Hawaii. We’re at Waialae Country Club in the capital city of Honolulu. Waialae’s hosted this historic event since 1965.
The course was founded in 1927 and designed by classic golf architect, Seth Raynor. It’s a 7,044-yard par-70 layout that contrasts greatly with last week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions venue, Kapalua. Kapalua is a longer par-73 with wide fairways, big slopes, and fairly large greens.
Waialae is much flatter, tighter off the tee, and boasts smaller greens.
Length is not a huge asset this week at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Hitting fairways is key, as well as sharp iron play and a good short game. It then turns into a putting contest. While you can’t bomb it off the tee, players still need to be aggressive on approach to score low.
Bermuda grass is in play tee to green this week, so look for southeastern Americans, for example, to have a slight advantage putting.
Aside from Cameron Smith’s victory at 11-under in 2020, the winning score has been 17-under or better every year since 2013. The Sony Open is the first full-field event of 2024, featuring 144 players vying for the 36-hole cut of top 65 and ties.
This is an event a lot of big names tend to eschew. Many do not want to hang around in Hawaii for two full weeks, choosing rest with a loaded West Coast swing on the mainland forthcoming.
The course could play soft this week given the flood watch that's in effect in Oahu early in the week. It'll be dry for the tournament days, but winds are frequently going to be in the double digits miles per hour. Temperatures will be in the 60s-70s Fahrenheit.
Let's get down to this week's top 10 at the Sony Open in Hawaii: