The PGA Tour of golf remains in Hawaii and, after the Sentry Tournament of Champions, returns to the protagonist with the Sony Open. In Honolulu, from 13 to 16 January, the American Kevin Na will try to defend the title won in 2021 when he managed to overcome, by a single blow, his compatriot Chris Kirk (now in search of a rematch) and the Chilean Joaquin Niemann (this time absent).
The last to succeed in the back-to-back was, in 2015, Jimmy Walker (among the competitors competing in Hawaii).
Cameron Smith, Sony Open
At the Waialae Country Club - where there will be a prize pool of $ 7,500,000 - virtually all the big names in the world will be absent.
As for the Top 10, the only golfer on the field will be the Australian Cameron Smith. After triumphing at the Sentry Tournament, with the score record (-34) from 1950 to today on the PGA Tour, beating Jon Rahm, world ranking leader, the 28-year-old from Brisbane is pursuing another feat.
In an event that has already made him in 2020, when he managed to beat the American Brendan Steele (also in the field this year) in the play-off. Favorite of the eve, Smith after the forfeit (due to a wrist injury) of Bryson DeChambeau will have to deal not only with Na but, also and above all, with Hideki Matsuyama (the first Japanese to have won The Masters last April) .
Spotlight also on Canadian Corey Conners, Australian Marc Leishman, South Korean Sungjae Im, Mexican Abraham Ancer and Americans Webb Simpson, Kevin Kisner, Billi Horschel, Harris English and Matt Kuchar (champion in 2019).
There is curiosity for the Japanese Keita Nakajima, number 1 in the world amateur golf ranking on the field - alongside one of his idols, compatriot Matsuyama - thanks to an exemption from a sponsor. A new career as a mental coach, alongside some of the best golfers in the world to drag them to success and support them in times of difficulty.
This is what Michael Phelps, the most decorated athlete in the history of the Olympics, seems to have undertaken (also in the name of friendship). A great golf enthusiast, many now define him as the "secret weapon" of green totems such as Jon Rahm, number one in the world ranking, and Jordan Spieth, the Texan who, after a long period of crisis, is back in 2021 to amaze.
"He's a good guy, he's been through a lot as a sportsman and he's the greatest Olympian of all time with a lot of tricks up his sleeve. I'm not going to reveal what I asked him but I can say that he has helped me a lot in the last period.
" These are the revelations of the Spaniard Rahm. For the legendary swimmer, nicknamed 'the Baltimore Shark', important words also came from Spieth, today 12 / o in the world ranking. "The mental aspect is something I've worked on a lot with him lately.
I'm really lucky to have him around. Besides, he's a great lover of golf and having him now more and more in our world is an added value." This is the opinion of Spieth who yesterday, alongside Phelps, played the Pro-Am of the BMW Championship, the second event of the Play-Offs of the Pga Tour starting today in Owing Mills (USA), Maryland.