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PGA Tour

PGA Tour venue set to return to Maui after wildfire tragedy

September 21, 2023
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Harry How

The PGA Tour is returning to Maui.

A day after Kapalua Golf reopened for business, the tour sent a memo informing members the Sentry (formerly known as the Tournament of Champions) will be played at the Plantation Course in January of 2024.

"It’s been six weeks since the Maui Wildfire Disaster severely impacted the island and its people. Given the continued relief and recovery efforts, I wanted to provide an update on The Sentry," wrote PGA Tour chief competitions ffficer Tyler Dennis. "Working in cooperation with state, county and community officials, the PGA Tour is committed to playing The Sentry in 2024 at The Plantation Course at Kapalua. Hawaii Governor Josh Green has been emphatic in his support of our event and others, recently stating, 'This decision [to allow visitors and events to return to Maui] is meant to bring hope for recovery to the families and businesses on Maui that have been so deeply affected in every way by the disaster. People from Hawaii and around the world can resume travel to this special place and help it begin to recover economically.'"

The Kapalua facility, one of the best golf properties in Hawaii, has been closed since Maui suffered a series of wildfires in August. However, Kapalua’s Bay Course reopened for play on Sept. 20, with the more famous Plantation Course set to reopen in mid-October.

“Our team truly appreciates the outpouring of support from around the globe over the past six weeks,” said Kapalua Golf general manager Alex Nakajima. “Our staff was deeply impacted by the fires, with nearly a third losing their homes and possessions. As associates and the community work to heal, we continue to support them; welcoming back team members to work as they are ready. As we continue the recovery process, we are reopening our two golf courses for Kamaʻāina (local residents) on island and for those planning their return to Maui. As millions discovered during the pandemic, a round of golf can be good medicine for the mind, body and soul.”

The fires were spread out over 17,000 acres of land and caused over $6 billion in damage, with 97 dead and another 30 people still missing. With recovery efforts ongoing, the wildfire tragedy seemingly puts the Sentry in doubt. But PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan signaled last month that the tour planned to be a “source of inspiration for the great people of Maui and Lahaina by the time that we get to Maui in January.”

Historically a winners' only event, the tournament changed its format, now allowing those who qualified for the previous year's Tour Championship. The 2024 Sentry begins the first week of January; Jon Rahm is the defending champ.