Jerry Kelly and Steve Stricker will begin the golf season Thursday in Hawaii.
The Madison golfers were among the 140 golfers in the 144-man field announced Friday for the Sony Open in Hawaii, the first full-field event of the 2018-19 PGA Tour wrap-around schedule. Golfers had until Friday at 5 p.m. HDT to commit.
Kelly, 52, the 2002 Sony Open champion, is playing on a sponsor's exemption. He tied for 14th at the Sony Open a year ago (his 10th top-15 finish in the event since his victory), one week before opening the PGA Tour Champions season with his only victory of 2018 at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.
For Stricker, 51, who is using a one-time career money exemption to play more on the PGA Tour in 2019, this is only his second Sony Open start since 2012. Since playing Waialae Country Club in 2016, this is the first time that Stricker has started the season before the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February.
Stricker made 12 starts on the PGA Tour in 2018, posting four top-25 finishes with a season-best tie for 12th the Valspar Championship. He played seven events on the PGA Tour Champions with three victories, two runner-up finishes and a third-place showing.
Kelly will defend his title next week at Hualalai. Beyond the Sony Open, however, Stricker has only announced that he will play at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, where he will likely pair with regular partner Toby Keith, the country music singer who will perform at the annual Friday night concert during American Family Insurance Championship week at the PGA Tour Champions event Stricker hosts in Madison.