|SONY Open - January 12, 2009
SONY OPEN IN HAWAII
Waialae Country Club
Par: 35-35—70Yards: 7,044
Winner's FedExCup Points Share: 500
Purse: $5,400,000Winner: $972,000
2008 Champion: K.J. Choi (266, -14)
Choi Enjoyed Wire-to-Wire
Sony Open in Hawaii Win in 2008
K.J. Choi opened with a 6-under 64 at the 2008 Sony Open in Hawaii to take a one-stroke lead over a trio of players. He moved his lead to two strokes after 36 holes and four strokes through three rounds, eventually enjoying a start-to-finish victory, his seventh PGA TOUR title and fifth in the last four years.
Choi returns to Waialae Country Club this week for the Sony Open in Hawaii. He will greet a strong field of veterans and newcomers, including Geoff Ogivly, who opened his season by winning last week’s Mercedes-Benz Championship. Choi tied for 15th.
The Sony Open in Hawaii represents the first full-field event of PGA TOUR Regular Season, with 144 players set to descend upon the par-70 Waialae Country Club. Once again, a strong field has been assembled for the tournament, led by Ernie Els (ranked 10th in the Official World Golf Ranking), Kenny Perry (14th), Steve Stricker (15th), Stewart Cink (16th), Choi (17th) and Adam Scott (18th). Five-hundred FedExCup points will be awarded to the winner.
Sony Open in Hawaii Notes
Parker McLachlin, a Honolulu native and 2008 Legends Reno-Tahoe Open champion, will be making his fifth start at the Sony Open in Hawaii. McLachlin is coming off of his best finish at the tournament with a tie for 10th in 2008. McLachlin’s father, Chris, was the high school basketball coach of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama at Punahou High School—who will be inaugurated just two days after the Sony Open in Hawaii wraps up. Playing in his first Mercedes-Benz Championship, McLachlin tied for 24th last week.
Few players have dominated a tournament like Ernie Els has done at the Sony Open in Hawaii. The Big Easy is back at Waialae for the first time since 2005, a place where he accumulated five consecutive top-five finishes in as many starts, beginning in 2000. In addition to victories in 2003 and 2004, he was the runner-up in 2005, finished third in 2001 and was fifth in 2000. He is a collective 66-under in his five starts in Honolulu, with a 1-over 71 during the first round in 2005 his only over-par effort.
Steve Stricker, a four-time TOUR winner, is seeking his first victory at the Sony Open in Hawaii despite much success at the event. Like defending champion K.J. Choi, Stricker has finished inside the top four in each of the past two seasons at Waialae (he tied for fourth in 2007 and 2008). Stricker has six top-15 finishes in his nine starts at Waialae, with the others a solo third-place finish in 1996, a tie for seventh in 1998 and ties for 14th in 1994 and 2000. In 34 rounds, Stricker has failed to produce a score of par or better just five times.
Boo Weekley, one of the emerging stars on the PGA TOUR, is one of five members of the winning U.S. Ryder Cup team who will be teeing it up this week at the Waialae Country Club. The others include Kenny Perry, Stewart Cink, Steve Stricker and J.B. Holmes.
This is the 11th year of Sony serving as the title sponsor of the Sony Open in Hawaii. Through its involvement with the tournament, Sony has helped generate more than $8 million for the Friends of Hawaii Charities, the largest charity undertaking in the state of Hawaii. The charities ensure area women and children receive health and social services needed. Waialae Country Club has hosted the event each year since the tournament’s inception in 1965.