Stars eyeing Sony success

Eight of world's top 20 teeing it up in Hawaii

Last Updated: 10/01/08 10:04am

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Stricker: World number three

Stricker: World number three

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The PGA Tour remains in Hawaii this week with a strong field ready to do battle in Honolulu at the Sony Open.

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Fresh from his triumph at the Mercedes-Benz Championship last week, in-form Daniel Chopra (who has two wins from his last three outings) will be confident of another good showing.

The Swede edged out Steve Stricker in a play-off at Kapalua to claim the first title of the PGA Tour season.

However, it was not all bad news for the American who sneaked past Jim Furyk and up to number three in the world on the back of his runner-up performance.

The PGA Tour's Comeback Player of the Year in 2007, Stricker will now be hoping he can register an early success in 2008.

In the continued absence of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, the 40-year-old is the highest-ranked player in the Honolulu field although three other members of the top 10 are present; Furyk (4), KJ Choi (9) and Vijay Singh (10).

Four more in the second 10 in the rankings will also take part, they are number 11 Rory Sabbatini, U.S. Open champion Angel Cabrera at number 14, Masters champion Zach Johnson at number 15 and number 17 Aaron Baddeley, who lost to Els here in 2003.

2007 champion Paul Goydos will also be present to defend the crown he won by one shot from Charles Howell III twelve months ago.

The 43-year-old is relishing that challenge, stating: "I'm looking forward to playing Waialae again and get some of those good memories back. I haven't defended very often, so it's a good feeling for me."

Other notable names teeing it up include US Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger and two-time major champion John Daly, while leading the European challenge along with Chopra are fellow Swedes Carl Pettersson and Jesper Parnevik and also Englishman Kennie Ferrie.

The $5.3 million event takes place at the Waialae Country Club and boasts a winner's cheque of $936,000.

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