The Hawaii swing wraps this week with the Sony Open in Honolulu, and we have a pretty stacked field participating. Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth headline the event, but there are also some fascinating younger names like Peter Uihlein, Patrick Rodgers and Ollie Schniederjans participating.
This will be the 53rd straight year Waialae Country Club has hosted a PGA Tour event and the 20th anniversary of Sony’s sponsorship. In a world where things are always changing, this has been one constant on the Tour. That provides some stability for players and lets fans and viewers know what they’re getting. When you sit down to watch this week, you’re getting great views, an easy course, a solid field and primetime viewing. What else could you ask for from golf in early January?
The annual stop at Waialae may tumble to the furthest recesses of your mind by the end of the season, but it has become a highlight of the early-season schedule for the hardcore golf fans. There are stops on the upcoming West Coast swing that will get much more love, but the Sony is a great combination of rookies and vets grinding for solidified PGA Tour card status on a course with a ton of history.
It’s also an opportunity for more prime-time golf following up last week’s little 34-man party that was the Tournament of Champions. I thought the ToC fizzled a bit on the weekend, despite the fireworks from the eventual winner and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. It was great to watch PGA Tour golf again, and Kapalua was as beautiful as ever. But it ran out of juice in my very subjective opinion.
With a full field and a course that can yield some crazy low numbers, maybe we get a better show this week. Here are some reasons to watch as well as the nuts and bolts for the Sony. We’ll update this as a hub of sorts as the tournament progresses.
1) It’s pretty. This is simple. I won’t try to expound much beyond telling you that this Waialae Country Club layout is easy to look at. The media center is basically on the beach — not that I know from experience; one day, perhaps.
The course runs right up and almost onto the beach — so close that a couple of certain pros going out for a kayak ride in the ocean were easily caught by the golf course cameras and documented in a suffocating barrage of content last year. And you mayyyy see a shot or two of the infamous “W” shaped palms lording over the 18th green.
Rounds 1-3 — Thursday-Saturday
Round starts: 12 p.m.
Live TV coverage: 7-10:30 p.m. on Golf Channel
Live stream online: 7-10:30 p.m. on NBCSports.com
Radio: 5-11 p.m. on PGA Tour Radio
Round 4 — Sunday
Round starts: 12 p.m.
Live TV coverage: 6-10 p.m. on Golf Channel
Live stream online: 6-10 p.m. on NBCSports.com
Radio: 5-10 p.m. on PGA Tour Radio