Sony Open in Hawaii: Preview

by   |   January 13, 2010

Action will finally get underway tomorrow at the first full field event of the 2010 PGA Tour season.  After a taste of live golf action last week at the SBS Championship and the teaser equipment photos here on GolfWRX.com of all the new gear in play, hardcore golfers are primed to watch the Sony Open in Hawaii.

The PGA Tour pros not in the field last week will be eager to kick off their season in a grand way at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu.  And it truly is a stellar field this year at the Sony, highlighted by none other than defending champion Zach Johnson.    He will be seeking not only his 6th PGA Tour victory this week but he will also be trying to become only the fourth player to successfully defend the title.  Only Hubert Green (1978-79), Corey Pavin (1986-87), and Ernie Els (2003-04) have managed to do so.

Among the notable players in the field are the World #3 ranked player Steve Stricker, 20-time PGA Tour winner Davis Love III, 2008 FedEx Cup Champion Vijay Singh, and 16-time PGA Tour winner (including 2 Sony Opens) Ernie Els.

An added bonus will be the presence of all four major champions from 2009.  By having Angel Cabrera, Lucas Glover, Stewart Cink, and Y.E. Yang present it will be the first time since 1978 that all four major champions from the previous year will be contending for the Sony Open trophy.  It marks only the 3rd time in history that it has occurred.

Additional story lines will include local Tadd Fujikawa who was among the sponsor's exemptions.  Other invitees include John Daly, John Huston, T.J. Kua, WC Liang, Shigeki Maruyama, Ryuichi Oda, Chris Riley, Dean Wilson, and Kaname Yakoo.

And, of course, grooves will again be a hot topic for the TV Coverage crew (Golf Channel will broadcast each round from 7:00 to 10:30 P.M. EST).  That was the case last week at the SBS Championship but the golfers at Kapalua were facing a much different course than what the pros will find in Honolulu.  With narrow  fairways and 3-inch Bermuda rough this really should be the first good chance to see what impact the new groove rules have on the ability of the golfers to play shots.  Fortunately little rain is expected so excessive moisture should not add into that mix.

The golfer who manages to tame the famed par 70, 7044-yard, Seth Raynor (1927) layout will enjoy a $990,000 check out of the $5.5 million dollar purse.

This report for GolfWRX.com is courtesy of Flagstick Golf Magazine (www.flagstick.com)

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