PRESENTATION – Winner a year ago, the Australian Cameron Smith, tied for 2nd at the Masters last November, will try to become the fifth defending champion to keep his trophy, the first since Jimmy Walker (2014-15).
The year 2021 really starts from Thursday in Honolulu (Hawaii) with the inevitable Sony Open in Hawaii. Here, there is no longer any question of reduced field and four guaranteed laps. A cut will be made after 36 holes at the Waialae Country Club, a par 70 of 6,441 meters, left the ground 94 years ago, the exclusive host of the tournament without interruption since… 1965. A very narrow course, in contrast from what we saw last week in Maui, at the Plantation Course in Kapalua.
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32 of the 42 players present at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, won last Sunday by Harris English, will start in Honolulu. Winner last year in the playoff against the American Brendan Steele, the Australian Cameron Smith, 27, tied for second in the last Masters, will try to keep his title. Only four golfers have achieved this feat in over 50 years: Hubert Green (1978-79), Corey Pavin (1986-87), Ernie Els (2003-04) and Jimmy Walker (2014-15). As a little anecdote, the Brisbane native started his week in Hawaii with… a bogey and a triple bogey on his first two holes. Before winning with a final score of 269 (-11).
Victorious of the PGA Championship last August in San Francisco, Collin Morikawa, 7th last week at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, will be one of the men to watch closely. 21st in 2020 for his first appearance at the Sony Open in Hawaii – he even took command of the tournament after 18 holes thanks to a solid 65 – the Japanese-American, 7th player in the world, is among the natural favorites, at the same title than the South Korean Sungjae Im (5th in Kapalua) or Webb Simpson (3rd in 2020, 4th in 2019 at the Sony Open).
We will also find in the field some former winners in Major, such as the Canadian Mike Weir or the South Korean YE Yang, who benefit from an invitation, just like the former Japanese glory, Ryo Ishikawa. All this little world will evolve, alas, once again behind closed doors, the coronavirus pandemic obliges …
Sony Open in Hawaii (PGA Tour) – $ 6,600,000 endowment (5,414,896 euros endowment)
Players to watch
Cameron Smith (Aus), Abraham Ancer (Mex), Daniel Berger (USA), Harris Englsih (USA), Sergio Garcia (Esp), Lanto Griffin (USA), Russell Henley (USA), Jim Herman (USA), Billy Horschel (USA), Charles Howell III (USA), Sungjae Im (CdS), Kevin Kisner (USA), Matt Kuchar (USA), Marc Leishman (Aus), Luke List (USA), Hideki Matsuyama (Jap), Collin Morikawa ( USA), Kevin Na (USA), Joaquin Niemann (Chi), Ryan Palmer (USA), Andrew Putnam (USA), Adam Scott (Aus), Webb Simpson (USA), Brendan Steele (USA), Nick Taylor (Can) , Jimmy Walker (USA).
To watch the Sony Open in Hawaii (PGA Tour) on TV:
Thursday January 14, 1st round: 1 a.m. (Golf +); 8:25 a.m. (Canal + Sport) *
Friday January 15, 2nd round: 1 a.m. (Golf +); 8:15 a.m. (Canal + Sport) *
Saturday January 16, 3rd round: 1 a.m. (Golf +); 6:52 a.m. (Canal + Sport) *
Sunday January 17, 4th round: 00h00 (Golf +); 8:04 a.m. (Canal + Sport) *
* Broadcast the next morning in France