PGA Tour continues "Hawaii swing" with first full-field event

PGA Tour continues "Hawaii swing" with first full-field event

European Tour has South African Open on tap this week

Reid Spencer Publisher
image (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Justin Thomas shot 59 and set a 72-hole PGA Tour scoring record in winning last year's Sony Open in Hawaii.

No matter what happens this week, Dustin Johnson won’t be able to duplicate Justin Thomas’ feat from a year ago—because Johnson isn’t playing in the Sony Open in Hawaii.

As the PGA Tour moves from its winners-only Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua’s mountainous Plantation Course to its first full-field event of the year at flat Waialae Country Club, Johnson will be a notable absence as he prepares for the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship a week later.

Accordingly, Thomas, the Sony Open’s record-setting defending champion, and Ernie Els will remain the only two players to have swept the two tournaments in the Hawaiian Islands.  

In fact 14 players who competed at Kapalua won’t be making the trip to Oahu to play on the Seth Raynor course near Diamond Head on the east side of Honolulu. But Thomas will return to the course where became the youngest player ever to shoot 59 in PGA Tour competition and posted a Tour-record 72-hole score of 253.

As well as Johnson played in winning at Kapalua by eight shots, the Sony Open field is delighted not to have to deal with the world’s No. 1 player at Waialae.

Here’s everything of note that’s happening in professional golf this week.



Site: Honolulu.

Course: Waialae CC. Yardage: 7,044. Par: 70.

Purse: $6.2 million. Winner's share: $1,116,000.

Television: Thursday-Saturday, 7-10:30 p.m. (Golf Channel); Sunday, 6-10 p.m. (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: Justin Thomas.

Last week: Dustin Johnson won the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

FedEx Cup leader: Pat Perez.

Notes: Johnson is among 14 players at Kapalua not playing in the Sony Open. Johnson, Jon Rahm and Pat Perez are preparing for tournaments overseas. ... Thomas last year set the PGA Tour scoring record at 253. He also became the eighth player to record a sub-60 round when he shot 59 in the opening round. ... Thomas and Ernie Els are the only players to sweep the Hawaii swing. ... Waialae Country Club is the only host of the Sony Open. This is its 53rd consecutive year ... One week after the Sentry Tournament of Champions had the top five players in the world, the Sony Open has only two of the top 10 — Thomas and Jordan Spieth. ... Thomas' caddie, Jimmy Johnson, is in a boot for a month because of plantar fasciitis and a tear in his right foot. Thomas is using Jim "Bones" Mackay, who split with Phil Mickelson last summer after 25 years. Mackay was in Hawaii as an on-course reporter for Golf Channel. Twenty players in the Sony Open have an exemption for the Masters.

Next week: CareerBuilder Challenge.





Site: Gauteng, South Africa.

Course: Glendower GC. Yardage: 7,594. Par: 72.

Purse: R15 million.

Television: Thursday-Friday, 3-5 a.m., 7-10 a.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 5-9:30 a.m. (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: Graeme Storm (left).

Last tournament: Shubhankar Sharma won the Joburg Open.

Race to Dubai leader: Wade Ormsby.

Notes: Four of South Africa's major champions are playing — Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Charl Schwartzel and Trevor Immelman. ... Branden Grace is the highest-ranked South African in the field. ... The tournament dates to 1903. Gary Player is a 13-time winner of the South African Open. ... Glendower Golf Club opened in 1937 and held its first tournament two years later when Bobby Locke won the Transvaal Open. ... Gonzalo Fernandez Castano received a sponsor's exemption, along with former Masters champion Mike Weir. ... Dylan Frittelli, who is playing his national open, is just outside the top 50 as he resumes his bid to earn a spot in the Masters. ... David Howell and Peter Hanson are using career money exemptions on the European Tour to play.

Next week: Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Online: and




Site: Great Exuma, Bahamas

Course: Sandals Emerald Bay (Emerald Reef Course). Yardage: 7,001. Par: 72.

Purse: $600,000. Winner's share: $108,000.

Television: Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Golf Channel); Sunday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (Golf Channel); Monday, 2-5 p.m. (Golf Channel); Tuesday, 1:30-4:30 p.m. (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: Kyle Thompson.

Last tournament: Jonathan Byrd won the Tour Championship.

Next week: The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic.





Asian Tour/European Tour: Eurasia Cup, Glenmarie Golf & CC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Defending champion: Europe. Online: and

Australasian Tour: Rebel Sports Masters, Wainui GC, Wainui, New Zealand. Defending champion: New tournament. Online:


PGA Tour Champions/LPGA: Diamond Resorts Invitational, Tranquilo GC at Four Season, Orlando, Fla. Defending champion: Woody Austin. Online: and

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