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

DATES: Thursday, January 15th through Sunday, January 18th
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:  44th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Saturday -- 6:30-10:30 p.m. (et),
  Thursday -- 11:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m. (et) - replay,
  Friday/Saturday -- 11 p.m.-3 a.m. (et) - replay,
  Sunday -- 6:30-10 p.m. (et),
  Sunday -- 11 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (et) - replay
Defending Champion:  K.J. Choi
Runner-Up:  Rory Sabbatini
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:  $5,400,000
Shares:  1st Place - $972,000; 2nd Place - $583,200; 3rd Place - $367,200
2008 Finish
K.J. Choi266Kevin Na272
Rory Sabbatini269Steve Marino272
Jerry Kelly270Tom Pernice Jr273
Steve Stricker272Troy Matteson273
Pat Perez272Seven players at274
Past Sony Open in Hawaii Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
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
K.J. Choi---mcT-29T-7T-56------T-13T-4Won
Rory SabbatinimcmcT-43mcT-27wdT-42T-2T-342nd
Jerry KellyT-55T-9T-29WonT-4T-5mcT-13T-133rd
Steve Stricker---T-14---mc------------T-4T-4
Pat Perez---------T-17T-20T-31T-20mcT-10T-4
Steve Marino------------------------T-34T-4
Kevin Na---------------T-41mc------T-4
Shigeki MaruyamamcT-9T-22T-70T-7T-41T-3T-70mcT-25
Paul AzingermcWonmc---mcT-10T-17T-59T-13T-32
Daniel Chopra---------------mcT-56T-42T-28T-32
Zach Johnson---------------mcT-47------T-32
Sean O'Hair------------------T-72mc---T-50
Charles Howell III---------T-4T-15T-27T-3T-53T-2T-69
Bart Bryant---T-39------T-60T-36T-9mcT-13T-69
John HustonT-12T-3T-14T-30T-50T-10mcmcmcT-69
Paul GoydosT-7T-26T-59---mc------T-53Wonmc
Boo Weekley---------mc------------T-20mc
Jeff SlumanWonT-14T-10T-17T-33mcT-2881stT-48mc
Kenny Perry---------T-23T-50mc---mcT-54mc
Luke Donald---------T-13mcT-20T-13---T-2---
Geoff Ogilvy------mcmcmc---mc---T-8---
David Toms---------T-4------T-13WonT-13---
Davis Love IIIT-2---T-10mc---3rd------T-68---
Stewart Cinkmc---mc---mc---T-5T-10mc---
Adam Scott---------------mcT-20T-18------
Brad Faxon---mcWonT-17T-70---mcT-70------
Ernie Els---5th3rd---WonWon2nd---------
Tim Clark------------------------------
Andres Romero------------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Sean O'Hair
Darkhorse - Davis Love III
Last Week's Pick to Win (Ernie Els) - Finished tied for 6th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Andres Romero) - Finished 32nd
The PGA Tour remains in Hawaii this week for the first full-field event of the 2009 season, the Sony Open in Hawaii. Seven of the top-20 players in the world are in the field this week, led by world No. 6 Geoff Ogilvy and world No. 10 Ernie Els. Ogilvy captured the season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championship last week, while Els finished tied for sixth. Els won this event in 2003 and 2004. They are joined in the field by five other top-20 players - Kenny Perry (14), Steve Stricker (15), Stewart Cink (16), defending champion K.J. Choi (17) and Adam Scott (18).

Last year, K.J. Choi fired rounds of 64-65-66 before hanging on with a one- over 71 in the final round to pick up the win at the Sony Open in Hawaii. 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. Rory Sabbatini got within two of Choi during the final round, but he was done in by two bogeys and a double-bogey. Sabbatini closed with a two-under 68 to end alone in second at minus-11.

With his final-round 71 last year, Choi became the first player since 1987 to shoot an over-par round at this event and still capture the title. Corey Pavin was the last player to do this when he won in 1987 after shooting 75 during round two.

In 2007, Paul Goydos collected three birdies in the final four holes to win his first tournament in 11 years at the Sony Open in Hawaii. 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 in 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 at the Sony Open. 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, 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 of the event, capturing the title in 1982, 1988 and 1991.

Els is playing in this event for the first time since 2005. He has posted five consecutive top-five finishes at the Sony Open - fifth in 2000, third in 2001, winning in 2003 and 2004, and finishing second in 2005. Els is 66-under-par in his five starts, with a one-over 71 in the first round in 2005 his only time shooting over par.

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 at this event have gone on to win 21 of the 43 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, Azinger and Toms. In all, 15 major championship winners have captured this event.

This tournament has been held at its present site since its inception in 1965 and changed names in 999 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 D.J. Trahan defends his title at the Bob Hope Classic hosted by Arnold Palmer in La Quinta, California.

01/13 14:43:44 ET

As of January 13, 2009, at 02:43 PM ET

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