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Sony Open tournament director braces for changes coming to PGA Tour

2024 Sony Open

HONOLULU – Sony Open in Hawaii tournament director Ray Stosik has spearheaded the biggest sports charity fundraiser on any of the Hawaiian Islands since 1998 and seeing the impact the tournament makes in the community never gets old.

“It’s a labor of love,” he said. “I always tell my staff, when we go out into the community, we see the fruits of our labor with things that we’ve worked on relating to charities throughout the last 20-some years. This is our 26th year operating this event, so we’ve been here from day one of Sony’s title sponsorship. They’re (signed) through 2026 I think, so I’ll try to do two more.”

Friends of Hawaii Charities, which is the host organization for the Sony Open in Hawaii, has committed a minimum charitable giving of $1.2 million per year, and donated $24 million over the past 24 years.

But the task of matching that figure, let alone growing its charitable contribution, may be challenging beginning in 2025 when the Tour is expected to implement a new formula for determining tournament fees and revenue sharing. As first reported by the Sports Business Daily, events were told in December that they would be asked to pay an additional:

  • $125,000 (FedEx Cup Fall)
  • $250,000 (full-field)
  • $500,000 (signature events)

Those numbers will increase in 2026 to:

  • $250,000 (FedEx Cup Fall)
  • $500,000 (full-field)
  • $1 million (signature events)

Tournaments will then be asked to pay the same fees in 2027. The trials and tribulations of hosting a Tour event in order to raise money for the local community just got that much harder.

“I think the initial response from a number of the tournaments was concern and how do we do this,” Stosik said during an interview with Golfweek at the Sony Open Saturday. “My hope and prayer is that the relationship between Friends of Hawaii Charities and the PGA Tour can come to an agreement how as the revenue models shift that we can work closely together to try to – the last thing we want to have happen is that the charity suffers because of some new financial restrictions related to the tournament.”

Asked if the Sony Open is sustainable under the proposed changes the Tour shared with the tournament sponsors during its annual meeting in Palm Springs, California, in December, Stosik said, “I would say between the Tour, Friends of Hawaii Charities, the state of Hawaii, we plan to make it work.”

But when pressed how he envisions doing so, he’s a bit more realistic.

2024 Sony Open

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