20th annual Sony Open in Hawaii draws 50,000 visitors

This article was originally published on eTurboNews
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The 2018 Sony Open commenced January 10 at the Waialae Country Club on the island of Oahu; the day was reserved for Pro-Am pairings. Amateurs could donate to charity and play with the professional golf stars. The weather was to die for. It’s hard to believe it’s January, it was sunny and there was a light breeze coming from the ocean. People started arriving at 6 am to catch glimpses of their favorite players. One of the first stars on the greens was Justin Thomas.

Twenty-four-year-old Thomas opened with a 59 in the first round of the 2017 Sony Open becoming the youngest to break 60 on the PGA TOUR by 4 years. He went on to win the 2017 Sony Open title by seven shots, shattering the TOUR’s 72-hole scoring record with a score of 27-under 253. Justin Thomas finished the 2017 season as the TOUR’s “Player of the Year” with five victories including the PGA Championship, the money title and a $10 million bonus for winning the FEDEX Cup. He has returned to the 2018 Sony Open in Hawaii to defend his title.

Shortly after noon, Jordan Spieth played the course, accompanied by several charity donors. His amateur entourage included boy band singer Nick Jonas and actress Kelly Rohrbach. According to bookies in London, England, he is expected to win this year’s tournament, which runs January 11 to 14. Thomas is expected to win second place.

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Most players are dead serious when playing tournaments; they concentrate on the game and no one is allowed to talk to them – it could be a distraction. However, at the Pro-Am event, Jordan Spieth appeared unusually fond of Kelly Rohrbach and was having lively conversations with her. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2012, where she was recruited to play Division One Women’s Golf, thereafter she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her passion for acting. Kelly majored in theater at Georgetown, and also attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Rohrbach recently starred in Paramount Pictures’ film Baywatch (2017).

Waikiki visitors can attend the event for $25 per day, or $60 for the entire tournament. All military and dependents are admitted free with an official military ID. Bus 22 goes to the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club; the route begins on Kalakaua Avenue, on the mountain side of the Waikiki post office. All public busses are wheelchair friendly.

There is a wheel chair accessible shuttle for the Sony Open operated by E Noa Tours. It starts at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, and travels through Waikiki before making a beeline to the tournament. For more information on the shuttle times please contact the dispatch office at 808-593-8750.

The designated drop-off location for disabled or handicapped spectators is at the Pro Shop parking lot adjacent to the main entrance.

Leave behind your backpacks, cameras and bags. No opaque bags larger than 6” x 6” x 6”; no clear tote bags, plastic, vinyl or other carry items larger than 12” x 6” x 12″ will be allowed.

The tournament raises over $17 million for over 350 charities in the Hawaiian Islands. It is broadcast to over 560 million homes in some 220 countries and territories via multiple national and international networks, and contributes an estimated $100 million in marketing and economic impact to Hawaii.

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