Aloha, Opportunity: PGA Members Castillo & Mueller Tee it Up in 2023 Sony Open
By Ryan Adams, PGA
Michael Castillo, PGA, talks with PGA Tour player Adam Scott during a practice round at the 2023 Sony Open.
Host the first PGA TOUR event of the year? Check. Play in the second tournament of the year? Also check.
That’s how Michael Castillo has kicked off 2023, going from welcoming the world’s best players at Kapalua Resort’s Plantation Course — where he’s the PGA Head Professional — to playing right alongside them in the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Castillo and fellow PGA Member Jesse Mueller, the 2022 PGA Professional Champion, tee off at 1:30 and 1:10 p.m. local time today, respectively, with both looking to get the competitive juices flowing in the same field as Jordan Spieth, Tom Kim and defending Sony Open Champion Hideki Matsuyama.
After a dominant performance, Jesse Mueller is officially the 2022 #PGAProChamp Champion. pic.twitter.com/Ios3SNTIq0— PGA of America (@PGA) April 20, 2022
For Castillo, who qualified after winning the Aloha PGA Section Championship last September, it’s a chance he thought had long passed him. Instead, he played a practice round with Adam Scott and chopped it up with Spieth and Kim on the Waialae putting green, the latter of whom was surprised to see Castillo playing after hosting the previous week. It didn’t take long, however, for him to see Castillo as his fellow competitor.
“I didn’t think the opportunity was there for me anymore,” says Castillo, who at 60 is the oldest competitor in the field and has been battling colon cancer. “It’s been nice to play again at a high level, especially at the Section Championship, where it mattered most.”
On-hand to watch Castillo play will be his mom, brothers and sister. Dad, who’s a ten-time Sony Open participant and PGA Half Century Member Ron Castillo, might be there, too, after finishing his tee time. “He likes to play golf more than watch,” quips Castillo. “No matter how it goes, this week will be a celebration with family and friends.”