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Sony extend sponsorship in Hawaii till 2006

Sony Corp. extended its title sponsorship of the Sony Open in Hawaii four more years to 2006.

Gov. Ben Cayetano welcomed the extension Sunday and said the tournament is priceless in promoting the isles as a tourist destination and generating revenue for the state.

"For Hawaii, this means a great deal from an economic point of view," Cayetano said. "Sony's tournament brings in, we estimate, 50,000 people. Revenues, maybe $25 million."

Sony chief executive officer Nobuyuki Idei called the event "an extraordinary marketing vehicle."

Sony has been the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event since 1999. In three years, the purse has more than tripled to $4 million. It will grow to $5.5 million in 2006.

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said the Sony Open is the most improved event on tour.

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