The 2020 Sony Open in Hawaii gets underway this week, with nine-time PGA Tour winner Matt Kuchar back in town to defend his 2019 championship against a competitive field that includes Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Vijay Singh, Webb Simpson, Rory Sabbatini and others.
The Sony Open has always been one of the premier events on our Island sports calendar. It’s been that way since the inception of the event in 1965, when the tournament was known as the Hawaiian Open. Past champions have included the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Ben Crenshaw, Hale Irwin and Lanny Wadkins. And longtime golf fans in the 808 won’t ever forget local stars Ted Makalena (1966) and David Ishii (1990) holding up the championship trophy.
Perhaps the most iconic moment in the tournament’s history, however, occurred on the final hole of the championship round of the 1983 Hawaiian Open. Trailing by one stroke to leader Jack Renner, Japan’s Isao Aoki holed a shot from 128 yards out to score an eagle and win the event. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin’s Bill Kwon called it, “the most incredible golf shot ever.”
“This is the greatest thrill of my life,” said Aoki.
Here’s a short video highlighting Aoki’s once-in-a-lifetime shot, along with more memorable moments from the Sony Open:
# # #