ATLANTA -- The PGA Tour plans to open its 2024 season with The Sentry tournament at the Plantation Course at Kapalua despite the devastating wildfires on Maui that killed more than 100 people and burned thousands of buildings on Aug. 8, commissioner Jay Monahan said Tuesday.
Hawaiian officials said the wildfires have become the deadliest natural disaster in state history.
"Absolutely," Monahan said Tuesday when asked if the PGA Tour was committed to playing The Sentry at Kapalua. "But I think at this point there's so many unknowns, and we want to be respectful of the challenges. 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."
The wildfires this month destroyed most of the village of Lahaina, and surrounding communities were devastated. Resorts and towns north of Lahaina, such as Napili and Kapalua, were not burned.
The Sentry tournament is scheduled Jan. 4-7. It will feature tournament winners from the 2022-23 season, as well as players in the top 50 of the FedEx Cup points standings.
Monahan, speaking to reporters ahead of this week's Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club, commended the Plantation Course and Sentry tournament staff for their work in helping people affected by the fires. The Washington Post reported last week that food is being cooked by the course's staff for those who have been displaced on the island. People were also living in an event space at the course.
"You know, the PGA Tour, when moments like this happen, this is when we're at our best," Monahan said. "So, we don't have the answer to that right now, but we want to do everything we can to make certain that that's a moment for the people of Maui that is entirely helpful and inspiring."
Monahan said the tour hasn't yet explored another option for hosting the 2024 opener. The Sony Open in Hawaii is scheduled at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu on Jan. 11-14.
"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."