The PGA Tour tees it up at its first event of the new year at the Sentry Tournament of Champions this week in Maui. A field of 39 golfers are vying for a bucket of cash that’s doubled in size—$15 million in all, with $2.7 million going to the winner—from a year ago.
Not everyone in the field is a tournament champ from 2022. A permanent eligibility change has brought 10 golfers to Kapalua who didn’t win but who did qualify for the Tour Championship.
Another 13 golfers in the 2023 field are making their Sentry debuts.
There are just three past Sentry champs playing this week: Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele. There are two in the field who have won the Sony and need the Sentry for their Hawaii Double: Hideki Matsuyama and Russell Henley.
Here’s a closer look at the six golfers who have earned the double dip on the islands at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Justin Thomas is the lone golfer in Maui this week who has claimed the Hawaii Double.
Thomas won the two island stops back-to-back in 2017 and then won the Sentry again in 2020.
With a third Sentry win this week, Thomas would become the fourth player with three or more victories at the event, joining Jack Nicklaus, who has five, and Stuart Appleby and Tom Watson, who each won the tournament three times.
Cameron Smith is the defending champion of the Sentry Tournament of Champions but he’s not back to attempt to repeat. A member of the LIV Golf League, Smith won the Sony Open in 2020.
Zach Johnson won his second-to-last PGA Tour victory at the 2014 Hyundai Tournament of Champions. The 2023 Ryder Cup captain also claimed the Sony Open in 2009.
Vijay Singh won the Sony Open in 2005 during a torrid stretch where he won 17 times over a three-year period (2003 to 2005).
In 2007, he opened his year with a win in the then-Mercedes-Benz Championship at Kapalua.
Ernie Els won the Hawaii double back-to-back in 2003, then a year later he repeated at the Sony.
It was in 2003 in Maui that Els seemed finally due to win after several close calls at Kapalua: T-14 in 1997, T-10 in 1998, solo second in 2000 (after an epic duel with Tiger Woods) and T-3 in 2001.
Jim Furyk won his Hawaii Double at the then-United Airlines Hawaiian Open (now Sony) in 1996 and the then-Mercedes Championships in 2001.
The Hawaiian Open win was the second of 17 career PGA Tour wins. He won the ’01 Mercedes by a shot over another University of Arizona golfer, Rory Sabbatini.