2023 Sony Open Primer: History, TV, Field, Odds

Hideki Matsuyama Wins Sony Open 2022
Hideki Matsuyama reacts on the 18th green during the final round of the Sony Open at Waialae CC on Jan 16, 2022 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Ben Jared / PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

The PGA Tour travels from Maui to Honolulu for the 58th edition of the Sony Open, the second of two stops on the Aloha Swing.

Contested at Waialae Country Club, the tournament will feature the 2023’s first full field, including defending champ Hideki Matsuyama and three-time major winner Jordan Spieth.

As we do each week, here’s a round-up of information and data points to prep you for the week on the coast of Honolulu, Hawaii.

The Skinny

Sony Open at Waialae CC
Players tee off on the 8th hole during the 2017 Sony Open at Waialae CC in Honolulu, Hawaii. Photo: Getty Images

Tournament: Sony Open
Dates: Jan. 12-15, 2023
PGA Tour Debut: 1965
PGA TOUR Week: 11th (of 43)
TV Network: GOLF Channel
Course: Waialae Country Club
Where: Honolulu, Hawaii
Distance: 7044 yards, Par 70
Architect: Seth Raynor
Field 140 players
Format: 72-hole stroke; 36-hole cut
Purse: $7,900,000
Win Share: $1,422,000
FedEx Cup/OWGR Points: 500/40
2022 Champion: Hideki Matsuyama

How to Follow the Sony Open

Sony Open Hawaii at Waialae CC
Sun sets at the Sony Open at Waialae CC in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo: Getty Images)

TELEVISION: Thu-Fri: 7 p.m.-10:30 p.m. ET (GOLF Channel); Sat-Sun: 4-6 p.m. (NBC); 6-8 p.m. ET (GOLF Channel)

PGA TOUR LIVE: Thu-Fri: 12-10:30 p.m.; Sat-Sun: 1-4 p.m. (ESPN+)
Subscribe to ESPN+

RADIO: Thu-Fri: 5-10:30 p.m.; Sat-Sun: 3-8 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM)
PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com/liveaudio

LINKS: Website | Facebook | Instagram


Justin Thomas Wins Sony Open
Justin Thomas poses with the trophy after winning the Sony Open with a record score at Waialae CC on Jan 15, 2017 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Like its sister tournament of the Aloha Swing (Sentry Tournament of Champions), the Sony Open has been a part of the PGA Tour for over half a century.

Beginning in 1965, then simply called the Hawaiian Open, the first tournament winner was American Gay Brewer.

In the 50-plus tournaments that have followed, big-name winners include Lee Trevino, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Crenshaw, Hale Irwin, Corey Pavin, Lanny Wadkins, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Justin Thomas and Hideki Matsuyama.

Pavin, Wadkins, Els, Hubert Green, and Jimmy Walker are the only golfers with multiple Sony wins – each with two victories. Interestingly, all but Wadkins won their two titles in back-to-back years.

in 2017, Thomas shot a 59 en route to a tournament record 27-under 253.

The Sony Open drew media attention in the 2000 decade for giving sponsor exemptions to the LPGA’s Michelle Wie, from 2004-2007. Wie missed the cut in each edition, but in her defense, all four of her appearances occurred under the age of 18.

History: Recent Winners

2022: Hideki Matsuyama*
2021: Kevin Na
2020: Cameron Smith
2019: Matt Kuchar*
2018: Patton Kizzire*
2017: Justin Thomas
* In the field

History: Records

18-hole score: 59, Justin Thomas (2017)
72-hole score: 253, Justin Thomas (2017)
Wins: (2) Corey Pavin, Lanny Wadkins, Ernie Els, Hubert Green, Jimmy Walker

The Course: Wailalae Country Club

A general view of Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii during the 2016 Sony Open. Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

Established in 1927, Waialae Country Club is a private golf club in Honolulu, Hawaii. The course’s initial design was by Seth Raynor with changes made by Desmond Muirhead in 1992.

Now a mature, lushly landscaped, and player-friendly championship course, Waialae features wide forgiving fairways lined with stands of coconut, monkey pod and kiawe trees and 83 strategically place bunkers that can be in play for any golfer.

The course plays to a par 70 for the Sony Open and measures 7,020 yards from the Championship tees. It is cooled by gentle trade winds and features well-tended and manicured Bermuda grass fairways and greens.

The course is nestled in the quiet neighborhood of Waialae-Kahala and its signature hole, the par-3 eighth hole, is bordered along its full 186 yards by the Pacific Ocean. The hole was patterned after the famous Redan hole on the North Berwick Golf Club in Scotland.
The Skinny
Name: Waialae Country Club
Locale: East Honolulu, Hawaii
Established: 1927
Type: Private
Stats: 18/72/7125 yards
Greens: Tifdwarf Bermuda
Fairways: Winter Ryegrass
Designer: Seth Raynor
Website: WaialaeCC.com

Field Overview

Jordan Spieth and caddie Michael Greller
Jordan Spieth and caddie Michael Greller prepare to play from the 4th tee during the final round of the Sony Open In Hawaii at Waialae CC on Jan 15, 2017 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey via Getty Images)

The field in Honolulu this week features seven players ranked in the world top 25: Tom Kim (14), Jordan Spieth (15), Billy Horschel (18), Sungjae Im (19), Hideki Matsuyama (21), Brian Harman (24) and Keegan Bradley (25).

Other top-40 ranked players include Tom Hoge (30), Russell Henley (31), Corey Conners (34) and Adam Scott (37).

In addition to defending champ Matsuyama and Henley (2013), the Sony field also features several former winners, including Matt Kuchar (2019), Patton Kizzire (2018) and Jimmy Walker (2014-15).

Some of the other familiar names teeing it up this week will be Keith Mitchell, Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Maverick McNealy.

Jeff Smith’s Power Rankings
Book Rank-Player (World Rank)
1. Tom Kim (14)
2. Hideki Matsuyama (21)
3. Russell Henley (31)
4. Jordan Spieth (15)
5. Tom Hoge (30)

Full Field & Odds

Hideki Matsuyama Wins Sony Open 2022
Hideki Matsuyama reacts after making birdie on the 15th green, as Russell Henley looks on, during the final round of the Sony Open at Waialae CC on Jan 16, 2022 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Chris Condon / PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

Waialae CC | Honolulu, Hawaii | Jan 13-16, 2022

Joel Cook contributed to this report.

Credits: PGA Tour Media, Getty Images, ASAP Sports, Bovada, Wikipedia



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