(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
The 2021 Sony Open in Hawaii field is on fire! The list of past champions returning to Waialae Country Club next week has grown with Cameron Smith hoping to defend his title alongside ten past champions including Jerry Kelly (2002), Vijay Singh (2005), K.J. Choi (2008), Zach Johnson (2009), Ryan Palmer (2010), Russell Henley (2013), 2014 and 2015 back-to-back champion Jimmy Walker, Fabian Gomez (2016), Patton Kizzire (2018) and Matt Kuchar (2019).
Local junior golfers will be cheering on Evan Kawai, who in his senior year at Punahou participated in and won the 2018 Hawaii Tourism Pro-Junior Challenge with pro partner Kyle Thompson. Now a University of San Diego golfer, Kawai will tee it up in the official PGA TOUR competition. He earned a spot after winning the amateur qualifer last November. Kawai told KHON2-TV, "I’m just going to go out there and tell myself to have fun. At the end of the day it’s a good experience and I’m sure I’ll learn a lot. Especially, from playing alongside the best in the world." Pros such as Patrick Reed, Collin Morikawa, Hideki Matsuyama, Keegan Bradley, Adam Scott, Stewart Cink, Ryo Ishikawa, Harris English, Kevin Kisner and Marc Leishman are part of the 144-player field who will compete for a share of the $6.6 million purse.
The 2021 Sony Open in Hawaii is the PGA TOUR's first full-field event of the new year. Tournament week starts on Monday, January 11 and this year’s event will be played without spectators. Watch the tournament on Golf Channel's live broadcast, Thursday-Sunday, January 14-17.