KAPALUA, Hawaii -- Hawaii will have two PGA tour events next year.
Kapalua, the 1,650-acre West Maui resort, will host the Mercedes
Championships, the tour's season opener. It will be held Jan. 4 to
10 at the resort's Plantation Course.
The Mercedes will be followed on Oahu by the Sony Open at
Waialae Country Club, Jan. 14 to 17.
Sony replaces United Airlines as sponsor of the tournament. The
airline ended its sponsorship of what was the long-running United
Airlines Hawaiian Open. The Mercedes previously was held at La
There will be pro-am events through Jan. 6, with the tournament
held Jan. 7 through 10. The tournament will have a $2.6 million
purse, with the winner taking home $468,000. The event will be
televised live on ESPN.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for us to showcase the course
to the world's best golfers," said Peter Sanborn, Kapalua's vice
president, marketing. He noted that it was rare for a PGA sponsor
to move an event to a new site.
Major improvements, including the reshaping of three greens,
have been made to the course.
The Mercedes replaces the Lincoln-Mercury Invitational as
Kapalua's major annual tournament. The Lincoln-Mercury, an
unofficial preseason event held in November, was last held in
Kapalua has three 18-hole courses, two hotels (Kapalua Bay Hotel
and Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua), condominiums, shopping and tennis
For further information, call the resort at (800) KAPALUA.
Mercedes tickets can be ordered through the Connection, a Hawaii
firm, at (800) 333-3388.