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Power Rankings: Sony Open in Hawaii

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The 2013 season begins for many this week with the Sony Open in Hawaii, the first full-field event of the year. Waialae Country Club will welcome a field of 144 players, all eager to get a head start on the shortened season.

Be sure to join the Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge to test yourself against our panel of experts, including former champion Win McMurry.

Johnson Wagner returns to defend his title from last year, when he won by two shots over a group of four players. Here are 10 names to keep an eye on this week in Honolulu:

1. Charles Howell III: A runner-up here last year, Howell now has three top-5 finishes in his last four starts at Waialae. After finishing the 2012 Fall Series with three straight top-15 results, he'll be eager to end a winless drought that dates back to 2007.

2. Dustin Johnson: Having gotten his season off to an ideal start at Kapalua, Johnson will again be a favorite even on a course that mitigates his advantage off the tee. Finished T-10 and T-16 in two career Sony starts, and he's a shoe-in if the event somehow gets shortened to 54 holes.

3. Carl Pettersson: Like Howell, Pettersson finished just behind Johnson Wagner here last year. That runner-up goes along with a T-5 showing in 2010, meaning the Swede has a pair of top-five finishes in his last three Sony Open appearances.

4. Keegan Bradley: Finished T-13 here last year, and a good result on the Plantation Course last week shows that Bradley's game has little, if any, early-season rust remaining.

5. Tim Clark: Was a runner-up in his last appearance here two years ago, when he co-led the field in greens hit in regulation (56/72 GIR). The South African has made the top 25 in each of his three career Sony starts, and broken par at Waialae in 9/12 rounds played.

6. Matt Kuchar: Struggled early at Kapalua but righted the ship somewhat on Tuesday. Consistently one of the Tour's best overall ball-strikers, a trait that will be of great importance this week on a layout that emphasizes hitting fairways and greens. Finished T-5 in his last appearance here (2011).

7. Brian Gay: Another player with a knack for playing well at Sony, having posted four straight top-25 finishes since 2009. Currently riding a streak of 16 straight tournament rounds in Honolulu at par or better.

8. Scott Piercy: Like Johnson, will find his length off the tee less of an advantage this week but remains a contender. Entered Sunday in eighth place here last year before fading to T-23 with a final-round 72.

9. Zach Johnson: A winner here in 2009, Johnson has the tee-to-green accuracy to make him a contender. Also finished T-12 at Waialae the year following his victory and should have no trouble with tight fairways this week after finishing 14th on Tour in driving accuracy in 2012.

10. Brendon de Jonge: Coming off a career year in 2012. The Zimbabwean ended the season eighth on Tour in GIR percentage and followed up a T-20 showing in 2011 with a T-10 finish here last year.