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Sony Open to stay in Hawaii through 2018 in 4-year deal

    2012 January 13 SPT - Sony Open Final - Russell Henley celebrates after sinking his putt on the 18th hole of the 2013 Sony Open in Hawaii for a birdie and the championship. HSA photo by Bruce Asato

A four-year extension for the Sony Open in Hawaii is signed, sealed and delivered, keeping the PGA Tour at Waialae Country Club for more than 50 years. Sony Corp., Waialae and the tour announced the extension Wednesday.

The tour’s first full-field event of the year will be here through at least 2018.

That will be Sony’s 20th year as sponsor. Since Sony and Friends of Hawaii Charities Inc., took over in 1999, they have distributed more than $13 million to 350 local nonprofits, with the help of charity partner The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation Inc.

"The extension of Sony Corporation’s sponsorship of the Sony Open in Hawaii is exciting for Hawaii’s not-for-profit and tourism sectors," said FOHC President Corbett Kalama, "as well as the many community constituencies that receive benefits.

"Additionally, valuable support from the State of Hawaii and Hawaii Tourism Authority leverages hours of Sony Open live television coverage. This Sony Open showcase of our beautiful island home reaches a massive global audience each January, providing valuable top-of-mind promotional benefit for Hawaii’s tourism industry."

The 2014 tournament is Jan. 9-12. All four rounds will be shown on The Golf Channel, in prime time on the East Coast.

Russell Henley, 23, became the youngest ever to win at Waialae this January. He shot a record 24-under-par 256 — the third-best total in tour history — to claim his first start as a PGA Tour member.

Henley collected $1,008,000 of the $5.6 million purse. Gay Brewer won the first "Hawaiian Open" in 1965, collecting $9,000. Hawaii’s Ted Makalena won the next year and Kauai’s David Ishii, a 16-time champion on the Japan PGA tour, captured the title in 1990.

There was no tournament in 1970, making the 2015 Sony the 50th year at Waialae. Only Augusta National (1934) and Colonial (1946) have hosted a PGA Tour event longer.

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