The first full-field event of the new year takes place this week at the gorgeous Waialae Country Club in Oahu.
Players making the short, puddle jump from Maui will be greeted to a far different type of golf course. Unlike the incredibly hilly Plantation Course at Kapalua, Waialae is flat. Much like the Tournament of Champions, however, players will need buckets and buckets of birdies to have any chance at taking the title.
Fresh off a T10 at Kapalua, Jimmy Walker returns to Waialae has the two-time champion.
Can he make it a three-peat? Here's a look at the five players to keep an eye on.
5. Russell Henley
Best finish in 2015-16 season: T6 RSM Classic
Reason to watch: In his very first start on the PGA Tour back in 2013, Henley went out and won the Sony Open. While this will be his first start since November, you've got to think there isn't a better place to get the engines fired up than at a place where he has such great vibes. In three starts in this 2015-16 PGA Tour season, Henley has two top-10 finishes. Will that momentum carry into this week?
4. Brandt Snedeker
Best finish in 2015-16 season: T3 Hyundai Tournament of Champions
Reason to watch: This will only be Snedeker's third start in the Sony Open and his first since 2008 when he finished T69. With not much of a track record at Waialae, it might be hard for most to wrap their heads around picking him as a favorite. But at Waialae, it's a putting contest. There are few better putters in the world than Snedeker. He also goes into the week after a solid T3 last week at Kapalua.
3. Zach Johnson
Best finish in 2015-16 season: T21 Hyundai Tournament of Champions
Reason to watch: The reigning Open Champion won the Sony Open back in 2009. He's starting this season with a new set of golf clubs, so it might take a little time to adjust in a competitive environment. Nobody plays within the parameters of his game on the Tour more so than Johnson. If the birdie putts are dropping, look out.
2. Matt Kuchar
Best finish in 2015-16 season: T25 RSM Classic
Reason to watch: Since 2011, Kuchar has finished no worse than T8 in four starts at the Sony Open, including a T3 last year. He should be rejuvenated having not teed it up in a PGA Tour event since November. Though he hasn't won on Tour since the 2014 RBC Heritage, Kuchar always seems to have his name on the first page of the leaderboard. His seven PGA Tour wins prove that he can take care of business and he'd love to get himself back in the winner's circle early in a new season -- especially in a Ryder Cup year.
1. Jimmy Walker
Best finish in 2015-16 season: T10 Hyundai Tournament of Champions
Reason to watch: It would be foolish to bet against the two-time defending champion this week at Waialae, wouldn't it? Winning the same tournament in three consecutive seasons certainly isn't a gimme, but clearly there's something about the place that fits Walker's eye and he absolutely loves.
SLEEPER PICK: Charles Howell III
Reason to watch: There's something about the Sony Open in Hawaii that routinely brings out the best in Howell, where he has finished in the top-10 on eight occasions, highlighted by two runner-up finishes and two third-place finishes.
Here's how my five to watch fared last week in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions:
5. Bubba Watson -- T10
4. Jimmy Walker -- T10
3. Patrick Reed -- Second
2. Dustin Johnson -- T10
1. Jason Day -- T10