As long as they are able to, and they’re invited back after the devastating wildfires this month on Maui, the PGA Tour will open the 2024 season with The Sentry at the Plantation Course at Kapalua in January.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, speaking ahead of the Tour Championship on Tuesday from East Lake in Atlanta, said the Tour is “absolutely” committed to playing The Sentry in January. The Plantation Course sits about 11 miles north of Lāhainā, which was almost completely destroyed by the wildfires.
“I think at this point there’s so many unknowns, and we want to be respectful of the challenges,” Monahan said. “We want to help be a part of the revitalization. There are a lot of considerations.
“We’re committed, you know, if we’re allowed to, if we’re invited, if we’re embraced. Given all that needs to be accomplished, we will be there 100 percent.”
At least 115 people have died since wildfires broke out on Maui earlier this month, according to The New York Times. The fires are the deadliest in the United States in more than a century, and the death toll is expected to continue to rise. The town of Lāhainā was essentially completely destroyed, and about 850 people were still unaccounted for as of Monday. President Joe Biden visited Maui on Monday.
Collin Morikawa, who has a number of family connections to Hawaii and Lāhainā specifically, has pledged to donate $1,000 to relief efforts for every birdie he makes during the FedEx Cup Playoffs. He donated $17,000 at the FedEx St. Jude Championship during the first week, and he donated $12,000 after the BMW Championship — which FedEx matched. Morikawa will start at 1-under this week at the Tour Championship, nine shots back from leader Scottie Scheffler.
The Sentry, previously known as the Sentry Tournament of Champions, will kick off the Tour’s 2024 season in January. It is a new signature event, part of the Tour’s revamped calendar-year schedule. The Sentry is one of two Tour events held in Hawaii each year. The Sony Open in Hawaii is scheduled for a week later in Honolulu.
According to The Washington Post, staff at the Plantation House restaurant at the golf course have been cooking meals to feed fire victims, and multiple families are living in an event space on the property.
While Monahan didn’t specify a backup plan, he did say that the goal is to play the tournament as scheduled in January. He said he has been in contact with Hawaii Gov. Josh Green and that they “hope to be a source of inspiration for the great people of Maui and Lāhainā.”
“All of our efforts are on, and all of our attention is to try and get back to Kapalua and to try and be as close to what we’ve been in the past,” Monahan said. “If it looks like that’s not a possibility, then we’ll go to Plan B. I want to be clear: There’s no indication that we won’t be back there. We’re just trying to be respectful.”