PGA Tour
PGA - Sony Open in Hawaii Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, January 12th through Sunday, January 15th
SITE: Waialae Country Club, Honolulu, Hawaii
COURSE ARCHITECT: Seth Raynor (1927), Rick Smith (1999)
PAR: 70
YARDAGE: 7,044
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 480 Yds10 - Par 4 351 Yds
2 - Par 4 423 Yds11 - Par 3 194 Yds
3 - Par 4 422 Yds12 - Par 4 440 Yds
4 - Par 3 204 Yds13 - Par 4 477 Yds
5 - Par 4 467 Yds14 - Par 4 430 Yds
6 - Par 4 460 Yds15 - Par 4 398 Yds
7 - Par 3 176 Yds16 - Par 4 417 Yds
8 - Par 4 454 Yds17 - Par 3 194 Yds
9 - Par 5 506 Yds18 - Par 5 551 Yds
35 3,592 Yds35 3,452 Yds
Annual:  47th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Saturday -- 7-10:30 p.m. (et),
  - Sunday -- 7-10 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Mark Wilson
Runner-Up:  Tim Clark, Steve Marino
Tournament Record:  260 (John Huston, 1998; Brad Faxon, 2001)
54-Hole Record:  194 (John Huston, 1998; Brad Faxon, 2001)
36-Hole Record:  128 (Davis Love III, 1994; John Huston, 1998;
  Paul Azinger, 2000; Brad Faxon, 2001;
  John Cook, 2002)
18-Hole Record:  60 (Davis Love III, 1994 - Par was 72)
Course Record:  61 (David Toms, 2006)
Total Purse:  $5,500,000
Shares:  1st Place - $990,000; 2nd Place - $594,000; 3rd Place - $374,000
2011 Finish
Mark Wilson264Matt Bettencourt268
Tim Clark266Shigeki Maruyama269
Steve Marino266Roland Thatcher269
Jimmy Walker267Four players at270
Matt Kuchar268
Past Sony Open in Hawaii Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2011Mark Wilson (264) -- Tim Clark, Steve Marino
2010Ryan Palmer (265) -- Robert Allenby
2009Zach Johnson (265) -- David Toms, Adam Scott
2008K.J. Choi (266) -- Rory Sabbatini
2007Paul Goydos (266) -- Luke Donald, Charles Howell III
2006David Toms (261) -- Chad Campbell, Rory Sabbatini
2005Vijay Singh (269) -- Ernie Els
2004*Ernie Els (262) -- Harrison Frazar
2003*Ernie Els (264) -- Aaron Baddeley
2002Jerry Kelly (266) -- John Cook
2001Brad Faxon (260) -- Tom Lehman
2000Paul Azinger (261) -- Stuart Appleby
1999Jeff Sluman (271) -- Chris Perry, Len Mattiace, Jeff Maggert,
Tommy Tolles, Davis Love III
1998John Huston (260) -- Tom Watson
1997*Paul Stankowski (271) -- Jim Furyk, Mike Reid
1996*Jim Furyk (277) -- Brad Faxon
1995John Morse (269) -- Tom Lehman, Duffy Waldorf
1994Brett Ogle (269) -- Davis Love III
1993Howard Twitty (269) -- Joey Sindelar
1992John Cook (265) -- Paul Azinger
1991Lanny Wadkins (270) -- John Cook
1990David Ishii (279) -- Paul Azinger
1989#Gene Sauers (197) -- David Ogrin
1988Lanny Wadkins (271) -- Richard Zokol
1987*Corey Pavin (270) -- Craig Stadler
1986Corey Pavin (272) -- Paul Azinger
1985Mark O'Meara (267) -- Craig Stadler
1984*Jack Renner (271) -- Wayne Levi
1983Isao Aoki (268) -- Jack Renner
1982Lanny Wadkins (280) -- Scott Simpson
1981Hale Irwin (265) -- Don January
1980Andy Bean (266) -- Lee Trevino
1979Hubert Green (267) -- Fuzzy Zoeller
1978*Hubert Green (274) -- Bill Kratzert
1977Bruce Lietzke (273) -- Don January, Takashi Murakami
1976Ben Crenshaw (270) -- Hale Irwin, Larry Nelson
1975Gary Groh (274) -- Al Geiberger
1974Jack Nicklaus (271) -- Eddie Pearce
1973John Schlee (273) -- Orville Moody
1972*Grier Jones (274) -- Bob Murphy
1971Tom Shaw (273) -- Miller Barber
1970Not Held
1969Bruce Crampton (274) -- Jack Nicklaus
1968Lee Trevino (272) -- George Archer
1967Dudley Wysong (284) -- Billy Casper
1966Ted Makalena (271) -- Gay Brewer, Billy Casper
1965*Gay Brewer (281) -- Bob Goalby

* - Won in Playoff

# - Rain Shortened

Note:Formerly called United Hawaiian Open (1991), Hawaiian Open (1965-90),
United Airlines Hawaiian Open (1992-98).

Top Contenders in the Field
Mark Wilson---T-33------------T-25mcT-20Won
Steve Marino---------------T-34T-4T-7---T-2
Steve Strickermc------------T-4T-4T-233rdT-9
Davis Love IIImc---3rd------T-68---mcT-5T-9
Jerry KellyWonT-4T-5mcT-13T-133rdT-23wdT-9
Brian GayT-23T-50T-36T-33---T-54T-40T-5T-25T-13
Rory SabbatinimcT-27wdT-42T-2T-342ndT-12T-39T-13
Kevin Na------T-41mc------T-4T-5T-52T-20
Jonathan ByrdT-23T-50T-31T-56------T-69---T-72T-34
Webb Simpson---------------------T-9T-77T-46
Ryan Palmer------T-64T-28mcmc------Won52nd
Jason Dufner------T-41------T-13---mcT-2056th
Keegan Bradley---------------------------T-68
Zach Johnson------mcT-47------T-32WonT-12mc
K.J. ChoiT-7T-56------T-13T-4WonT-12T-39mc
Paul Goydos---mc------T-53WonmcmcT-39mc
Vijay Singh---T-20T-10Won6thT-34T-45---T-52mc
David TomsT-4------T-13WonT-13---T-2T-43---
Sang-Moon Bae---------------------mc------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Steve Stricker
Darkhorse - Jonathan Byrd
Last Week's Pick to Win (Webb Simpson) - Finished tied for third
Last Week's Darkhorse (Bryce Molder) - Finished tied for seventh
The PGA Tour remains in Hawaii this week for the first full-field event of the 2012 season, the Sony Open in Hawaii. Three of the top-15 players in the world are in the field - Steve Stricker (5), Webb Simpson (7) and 2011 PLAYERS Champion K.J. Choi (14).

Stricker won the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions last week and is the highest-ranked American in the world. He has recorded eight top-15 finishes in 12 starts at this event. Stricker's best finish was solo-third in 1996 and 2010. He finished tied for ninth last year. If he wins this week, Stricker would join Ernie Els as the only players to win the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and Sony Open in Hawaii back-to-back in the same season.

Charles Howell III has played well at this tournament despite never posting a victory. He has five top-five finishes in 10 career starts - 4th (2002), T-3 (2005), T-2 (2007), 4th (2009), T-5 (2010). Howell has never missed the cut.

Last year, Mark Wilson posted rounds of 65-67-65-67 to win by two strokes over Tim Clark and Steve Marino. Wilson finished at 16-under-par 264 and won for the third time on the PGA Tour. He went on to win the Phoenix Open last year and was one of seven multiple winners on the PGA Tour in 2011.

In 2010, it all came down to the 72nd hole. Ryan Palmer nearly holed an eagle chip, but settled for a tap-in birdie that gave him the title. Palmer carded rounds of 65-66-68-66 at Waialae Country Club to fend off his third-round co- leader Robert Allenby by one shot. Palmer ended at 15-under-par 265 for his third PGA Tour title. Allenby was again denied his fifth PGA Tour crown. He last won on the PGA Tour in 2001 at the Pennsylvania Classic.

In 2008, Choi fired rounds of 64-65-66 before hanging on with a one-over 71 in the final round to pick up the win. Choi drained his first birdie of the final round at the 18th hole to complete the three-stroke victory at 14-under- par 266. He became the sixth player to win this title in wire-to-wire fashion. Choi won for the fifth time in five tries after holding the 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour. With his final-round 71 in 2008, Choi became the first player since 1987 to shoot an over-par round at this event and still capture the title.

Paul Goydos collected three birdies in the final four holes in 2007 to win his first tournament in 11 years. Goydos closed with a three-under 67 to win by one stroke over Luke Donald and Charles Howell III for his second PGA Tour victory. Goydos hit the pin with a chip from 25 feet out on the final hole to set up a birdie from tap-in range, winning his first event since the 1996 Bay Hill Invitational. He finished at 14-under-par 266.

Hawaiian Tadd Fujikawa became the second-youngest player in PGA Tour history to make a cut in 2007. Fujikawa finished in a tie for 20th at the age of 16 years and four days.

In 2006, David Toms birdied the first hole in the final round to take the outright lead, then didn't relinquish it on the way to a five-stroke victory. Toms shot a five-under 65 in the final round to end the tournament at 19- under-par 261 and earn his 12th career title on the PGA Tour. Toms set a Waialae Country Club course record with a nine-under 61 in the third round. The nine-under 61 was a new career low for Toms, besting his previous low of 62 from the 2001 Byron Nelson Championship.

With his win in 2004, Ernie Els joined Corey Pavin (1986-87) and Hubert Green (1978-79) as the only players to repeat as champion. Lanny Wadkins is the only three-time winner, capturing the title in 1982, 1988 and 1991.

There have been nine playoffs in the tournament's rich history, with the last coming in 2004 when Els defeated Harrison Frazar. Players who have held or shared the third-round lead have gone on to win 24 of the 46 tournaments.

Past champions of this tournament read like a who's who in golf -- with Vijay Singh, Els, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Hale Irwin, Mark O'Meara, Ben Crenshaw, Jim Furyk, Paul Azinger, Toms and Zach Johnson. In all, 16 major championship winners have captured this event.

Eight players have won both of the PGA Tour's Hawaii events at least once - Nicklaus (1974 Sony; 1963-64, 1971, 1973, 1977 Tournament of Champions); Trevino (1968 Sony; 1981 Tournament of Champions); Lanny Wadkins (1988, 1991 Sony; 1982-83 Tournament of Champions); Azinger (1991 Sony; 1990 Tournament of Champions); O'Meara (1985 Sony; 1996 Tournament of Champions); Furyk (1996 Sony; 2001 Tournament of Champions); Els (2003-04 Sony; 2003 Tournament of Champions); Singh (2005 Sony; 2007 Tournament of Champions).

This tournament has been held at its present site since its inception in 1965 and changed names in 1999 to the Sony Open in Hawaii. The tournament was previously known as the Hawaiian Open from 1965-98. Waialae Country Club's golf course nestles between the majestic Koolau mountain range on the north and blue Pacific Ocean on the south. Established in the late 1920's, Waialae was first groomed as an amenity for the guests of Waikiki's Royal Hawaiian Hotel. The beach adjacent to the eighth hole at Waialae CC was used to film a scene from the movie "From Here to Eternity."

Next week, the PGA Tour heads to the mainland of the United States, as Jhonattan Vegas defends his title at the Humana Challenge in La Quinta, California, formerly known as the Bob Hope Classic.

01/10 16:54:41 ET

As of January 10, 2012, at 04:54 PM ET