Sony Open in Hawaii
Sony Open in Hawaii
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Golf Today 14th January
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Did you know?

• Two Hawaiian-born players have won this event when it was named the Hawaiian Open. David Ishii, who is a regular member of the Japanese tour, won in 1990. He followed in the footsteps of Ted Makalena, who won the event in 1966. Makalena's victory was very popular, since he started in golf at the age of eight as a caddie at Waialae. Tragically, two years after his win and at the age of 34, Makalena was killed while swimming in the ocean off of Wakiki.

• Wayne Levi's win in the 1982 Hawaiian Open was the first time that a PGA Tour event was won by a player using an orange golf ball.

• Many events have been won by a player making eagle on the final hole, but the most remarkable of them happened in 1983 when Isao Aoki won the Hawaiian Open by holing a wedge from 128 yards on the final hole to edge Jack Renner by one. With the win, Aoki became not only the first Japanese to a win a PGA Tour event but he is the only Japanese to ever win on the PGA Tour. Aoki also owns the same record on the Senior PGA Tour.

• What a difference a year can make. In 1983 victory was snatched from Jack Renner, who was leading Aoki by one and was in the scoring tent signing his card. Aoki's miracle wedge was a cruel blow to Renner, but the following year he got his revenge. At the 72nd hole Renner watched as Wayne Levi had a seven-footer on the final hole to win the tournament by one. But a year later, lady luck was with Renner as Levi missed the putt to force the tournament into a playoff. At the second playoff hole, Levi three-putted giving Renner the victory.

• In the 34 previous Hawaiian Opens only eight have had playoffs. The first six were short, with three of them decided on the first hole and the other three only going two holes. That tradition was broken in 1996 when Jim Furyk took three holes to beat Brad Faxon. The following year Paul Stankowski took four holes to win the last playoff in this event over Jim Furyk and Mike Reid

• Talk about having a good time in Hawaii, Mark O'Meara had a pretty good one in '85. In three Hawaiian starts that year, O'Meara won all of them. On top of his Hawaiian Open victory (won $90,000) he was on the winning Nissan Cup team ($50,000) that was played in Maui and then won the Kapalua International ($125,000). For his three weeks of work in Hawaii, O'Meara won $265,000, which was a lot of money back then.

• In the 1998 tournament, John Huston broke the 72-hole to-par scoring record. Here is a look at the lowest strokes to par in 72 hole events:

    To par	Score	Player	        Tournament
    -28	260	John Huston	1998 Hawaiian Open
    -27	257	Frank Souchak	1955 Texas Open
    -27	261	Ben Hogan	1945 Portland Invitational
    -26	258	John Cook	1996 FedEx St. Jude Classic
    -26	258	Steve Jones	1997 Phoenix Open
    -26	262	Gay Brewer	1967 Pensacola Open
    -26	262	Robert Wrenn	1987 Buick Open
    -26	262	Chip Beck	1988 USF&G Classic
    -26	262	John Huston	1992 Walt Disney World
    -26	266	David Duval	1999 Mercedes Championship
It wasn't the only record that Huston broke that week. He made 31 birdies for the week, the most birdies made in a 72-hole event on the PGA Tour since the Tour starting keeping stats in 1980.

• John Morse, the 1995 Hawaiian Open champion, can thank the par 5s for his victory. Morse's winning total was 19-under par, and Morse played the par 5s in 18-under par. During the week on the 16 par 5s, Morse had one par, 12 birdies and 3 eagles, including an eagle on the final hole of the tournament. Here is a chart that shows how Morse played the par 5s compared to the field, with 1st in the rank of field meaning it was the easiest hole:

    Holes		1st	9th	13th	18th
    Morse 1st rd.	Birdie	Par	Birdie	Eagle
    Morse 2nd rd.	Birdie	Birdie	Eagle	Birdie
    Morse 3rd rd.	Birdie	Birdie	Birdie	Birdie
    Morse 4th rd.	Birdie	Birdie	Birdie	Eagle
    Avg of field	4.51	4.66	4.41	4.48
    Rank of field	3rd	4th	1st	2nd 
Since records haven't been kept on the lowest totals on par 5s in a 72-hole event, we don't know if Morse's totals are the lowest, but since he accomplished the feat in 1995 nobody has ever played the par 5s better in a 72-hole event

• In the last 16 Sony Opens/Hawaiian Opens, only four solo-leaders going into the final round won the tournanament. Here is a chart on the fate of the 3rd-round leaders:

    Year	Player		4th-rd.	Finish	
    1999	Tommy Tolles	71	T-2nd
    1998	John Huston	66	Win
    1997	Mike Reid	71	T-2nd
    1996	Brad Faxon	70	2nd
    	Steve Stricker	71	3rd
    1995	John Morse	68	Win
    1994	Davis Love III	71	2nd
    1993	Howard Twitty	68	Win
    1992	John Cook	65	Win
    	Paul Azinger	67	2nd
    1991	John Cook	75	2nd
    1990	Hubert Green	77	T-12th
    1989	Jim Carter	70	4th
    1988	Richard Zokol	70	2nd
    1987	Craig Stadler	70	2nd
    1986	Tom Watson	73	T-3d
    1985	Mark O'Meara	69	Win
    1984	Wayne Levi	70	2nd

• Here's a note on the 31 champions of this event. Fifteen of them made it either their first or second career PGA Tour win. Here is a list of those:

    Year	Player		Win #
    1997	Paul Stankowski	2
    1996	Jim Furyk	2
    1995	John Morse	1
    1994	Brett Ogle	2
    1990	David Ishii	1
    1989	Gene Sauers	2
    1983	Isao Aoki	1
    1977	Bruce Lietzke	2
    1975	Gary Groh	2
    1973	John Schlee	1
    1972	Grier Jones	1
    1968	Lee Trevino	2
    1967	Dudley Wysong	2
    1966	Ted Makalena	1
    1965	Gay Brewer	2

• On the other end of the foot, 14 of the champions of this tournament have not won again on the PGA Tour since their Hawaiian victory, including seven of the last 11. Here is the list:

    1999	Jeff Sluman
    1997	Paul Stankowski
    1995	John Morse
    1994	Brett Ogle
    1993	Howard Twitty
    1990	David Ishii
    1989	Gene Sauers
    1984	Jack Renner
    1983	Isao Aoki
    1975	Gary Groh
    1973	John Schlee
    1971	Tom Shaw
    1967	Dudley Wysong
    1966	Ted Makalena


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