HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - In Hawaii the old saying ‘No Rain No Rainbows’ has always been a calling card for the islands unpredictable weather, but nobody could have predicted these conditions.
In what was a blustery opening day of the 2020 Sony Open at the Waialae Country Club, with gusts reaching as high as 30-40 miles per hour, the strong winds presented challenging conditions for golfing’s best on Thursday.
Across the field of players four golfers with local ties tried their best to navigate the tough environment.
Maui native Eric Dugas, tee’ed off in the afternoon in his second straight Sony Open by securing a one over par round, to remain very much in the hunt of making the cut heading into the weekend.
Dugas, tallied four bogeys over the course of six holes on the front nine, but drilled clutch puts down the stretch including two birdies down the back nine to stay on course.
Moanalua graduate and defending Manoa Cup Champion Tyler Ota finished his day at four over par despite starting the opening round strong --playing an even front nine. However the 26 year old, ran into trouble on hole 10 shooting a double boogie on his first hole before having his round suspended on the seventh green due to darkness.
Ota will continue his round at 7:45 am on Friday.
Former University of Hawaii golfer Jared Sawada, finished his round at four over par, shooting a 74 in his fourth Sony Open.
The most veteran tour pro with local ties, Parker McLachlin also finished the opening round at four over par. The tough winds didn’t affect Mclachlin at the tee box or on his approach shots, but admitted the putting perspectives we’re challenging.
“The 30 mile an hour winds and 40 mile per hour gusts were a real thing, it affects the ball,” said McLachlin following the round. "It is what it is, but its a struggle out there especially on the greens."
The dangerous winds rip through the course and affected much more then just the golfers in the field.
The wind also forced the closure of the popular First Hawaiian Skybox on the 18th hole.
“Sky-boxes are rated up to 40 miles per hour,” said PGA Tour Meteorologist Wade Stettner. “When the wind gusts start to get to that point, they just have to shut it down for safety reasons it doesn’t come loose or get shaky up there.”
Despite the tough conditions, play is expected to resume on Friday as planned.
California’s Collin Morikawa currently leads the field after shooting a five under, to lead the tournament field by two strokes.