Sony Open could play at later date - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Sony Open could play at later date

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WAIALAE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The word is that the PGA and Sony are talking about sliding the starting date of the Sony Open Golf tournament to later in January.

"This isn't something that just came up recently. We continue to talk to the tour and just see where it can make sense for Sony to work in January," tournament director Ray Stosik said.

One reason for a possible shuffle is a scheduling conflict Sony has with its annual Consumer Electronics show that's also in January.

"Being able to take customers from their electronics show and bring them here and host them at the tournament is probably the most ideal scenario," Hawaii Tourism Authority vice president David Uchiyama said.

Another possibility is the tournament will move to a Friday tee off instead of Thursday, so the final round will be played on a Monday.

PGA golfer Darron Stiles thinks a Friday start might cause some players to skip the Sony because of a shortened travel time to the next event.  The tournament already faces challenges in drawing golf's biggest stars.

"To me, tournament golf is Thursday to Sunday. If you start any other day it makes it all little bit weird," Stiles said.

Stosik said there are other considerations.

"We have a lot of volunteers who work with us -- 1,700. Do we want to be on another day on a week day? Or do we need them on the weekend? There's many factors from volunteers, to just what works for Sony and their guests," he said.

One change is certain. Sony's place on the PGA calendar will shift. The 2013-14 season starts in October as the tour moves away from a calendar year to a wraparound schedule. That means Sony will lose its annual distinction of being pro golf's first full-field event.

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