Oda Records Ace, Qualifies for PGA Tour's Sony Open
12 Jan 2017
by Jeremy Gomberg of

see also: John Oda Rankings

John Oda (photo courtesy of UNLV)
John Oda (photo courtesy of UNLV)

HONOLULU, Hawaii. (January 12, 2017) -- Amateurs John Oda and Brent Grant will be teeing it up today at the Sony Open hosted by Waialae Country Club.

Oda, a junior at UNLV and native of Honolulu, beat incredible odds to make into the field this week. His week began last Sunday at Hoakalei Country where he shot a 1-under 71 at the Sony Open Pre-qualifer to finish in a tie for 12th and advance to the Monday Qualifier.

Playing the same course the next day, Oda fired a bogey-free 66 to win the Monday Qualifier over a field of players and former PGA Tour players. His round started off with birdies on holes 2 and 5 before an incredible hole-in-one on the par-3 7th boosted him to 4-under on the day. He added another birdie on nine and tacked on one more at the 15th.

This will be Oda's second appearance at the Sony Open, the first coming in 2012 via a sponsor exemption.

"John has won four times on the college level and his recent selection for the Walker Cup Squad demonstrates that he is at the top of the amateur game," said UNLV head coach Dwaine Knight. "He will be ready to soak up another chance to experience professional competition at the Sony Open."

Also in the field this week is BYU-Hawaii golfer Brent Grant. Grant qualified by winning the Governors Cup, a yearlong competition named after former Gov. John Burns, who wanted to help develop junior golf on the island. The 12 amateurs who qualify then compete in an 18-hole tournament at Waialae in late November which Grant won in a playoff.

This is the same way Oda qualified in 2012 and it's what allowed a then 16-year old Tadd Fujikawa into the field in 2007. Tadd, who qualified for the event this year, turned his exemption into a historical performance; he made an eagle on his final-hole in the second round to become the youngest player in 50 years to make a cut on the PGA Tour. Fujikawa ended up a tie for 20th that week and it wouldn't surprise us to see one of these amateurs make a similar run.

Oda is set to tee off at 1:10 pm local time with Hiroshi Iwata and Nicholas Lindheim while Grant is off early at 8:50 am with Parker McLachin and Ryan Brehm. We will keep you updated on their play throughout the week.

--UNLV men's golf contributed to this story

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