HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The 2021 Sony Open is set to start this week at the Waialae Country Club, but it will look a lot different from years past.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, there will be no in-person fan attendance in Waialae, to discourage large gatherings and safeguard the health of the golfers and event staff.
“You won’t see any spectators, you won’t see any sky boxes, you won’t see any build out for hospitality and so it’s tough, but safety first and foremost, we’ve been working on our protocols and plans with the state of Hawaii for the last three months.” Tournament Director Ray Stosik told Hawaii News Now. “So, we’ll get through this week and luckily we’ll have beautiful weather and 76 countries, upwards of one billion people can tune in and watch the Sony Open.”
To further the safety of all involved, Stosik says that everyone will get tested for COVID-19 throughout the week.
“Were one of the only tournaments in the country that tested all of their volunteers.” Stosik said. “So we have a bubble this week, all the players, caddies, all of the essential workers and volunteers have all been tested and we just want a safe week and donate to charities.”
Despite the visual and health-related changes, the annual tournament is still set to raise funds for numerous local charities, as a part of their partnership with Friends of Hawaii Charities.
Stosik says that the tournament will generate about $1.2 million for the local charities, with none of it being possible without the generosity of their sponsors during a trying year.
“These sponsors have come out in a pandemic time and have donated and have sponsored this year’s event, so I can’t thank the local sponsors enough for helping the charities in this difficult year.” Stosik said. “So mahalo to all the local sponsors for being so supportive, it means a lot to the community.”
The 2021 Sony Open tee’d off Monday morning with a Pro-Am, with the official Pro rounds set to start on Thursday — catch all of the action on the Golf Channel.