Tokyo, Japan - Sony Corporation today announced that it has decided to provide the exemption spots it holds as a title sponsor of PGA TOUR 2021 Sony Open in Hawaii,*1 which is to be held in Oahu, Hawaii, in the U.S., to Japan Golf Tour Organization (JGTO). Many Japan Golf Tour events sponsored and managed by JGTO have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, making it extremely difficult to invite players from overseas and to send players to participate in overseas tours. By providing these exemption spots, Sony hopes to support JGTO tour members' endeavors to compete on the global stage.
*1A final decision on the holding of the 2021 Sony Open in Hawaii will be made after careful consideration of COVID-19 conditions.
Exemption spots to be provided: 3 spots
Eligible players: 2020 JGTO tour members
Spots will go to: 1. SMBC Singapore Open 2020 champion*2
2. 2020 Mitsui Sumitomo Visa Taiheiyo Masters champion*3
3. 2020 Dunlop Phoenix Tournament champion*3
4. The top total prize winner from the six tournaments*4 this year
*2Since champion Matt Kuchar (U.S.) is already eligible for this tournament, this spot will go to the conditions of (4). *3If the winner is already eligible for this tournament or is not a JGTO tour member, the spot will go to the player outlined in (4). *4This slot will go to the JTGO tour member (excluding those that are already eligible) that won the most prize money in total at the six tournaments this year (SMBC Singapore Open, Mitsui Sumitomo Visa Taiheiyo Masters, Dunlop Phoenix Tournament, PGA Championship, U.S. Open Championship, and the Masters Tournament).
Hiroshi Kawano, Senior Vice President of Sony Corporation, expressed Sony's hopes, saying, 'As a creative entertainment company with a solid foundation of technology, we want to deliver great inspiration to people around the world even while the entire globe faces unprecedented challenges. We are delighted to provide these exemption spots to support JGTO tour members who want to play at the global level.'
Isao Aoki, Chairman of Japan Golf Tour Organization, welcomed the announcement and said, 'As JGTO has been forced to cancel or postpone this year's tournaments, We are very grateful for this opportunity to provide JGTO tour members with the chance to play in this tournament. Players who are eligible for this tournament will have the chance to compete at the global level, and We hope they make the most of this opportunity. I personally have very fond memories of the Hawaiian Open, the predecessor to the Sony Open in Hawaii, and I will be cheering on the players in this tournament from the bottom of my heart.'
Sony has sponsored the Sony Open in Hawaii continuously since 1999. Every year, all proceeds from this event are channeled back into the Hawaiian community through partner Friends of Hawaii Charities, supporting children, women, the elderly, and the economically disadvantaged, and this will be continued even during this COVID-19 crisis. With a total of approximately $20 million donated to over 350 charities, the tournament is the largest charity sports event in Hawaii. This year, in recognition of 22 years of Sony Open proceeds being donated*5 to support the advancement of the people and culture of Hawaii, the Japan-America Society of Hawaii will present Sony with the Bridge Award, which honors corporations and individuals for promoting and understanding the friendship between Hawaii and Japan.
*5Since 2000, proceeds from the tournament have been matched in donations by The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc., a charity partner that assists economically disadvantaged and other vulnerable individuals and families.
Tournament: Sony Open in Hawaii (abbreviation: Sony Open)
Schedule: January 11-17, 2021 (tentative)
Course: Waialae Country Club
Length: 7,044 yards / par 70
Champion's prize: $1,224,000
Host / Sponsor of Record: Friends of Hawaii Charities, Inc.
Title sponsor: Sony Corporation