Genotyping with a large number of molecular markers is a prerequisite to conduct genome-based genetic analyses with high precision. Here, we report the design and performance of a 25 K SNP genotyping array for sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). SNPs were discovered based on variant calling in de novo assembled, UniGene-based contigs of sunflower derived from whole genome sequencing and amplicon sequences originating from four and 48 inbred lines, respectively. After inclusion of publically available transcriptome-derived SNPs, in silico design of the Illumina(®) Infinium iSelect HD BeadChip yielded successful assays for 22,299 predominantly haplotype-specific SNPs. The array was validated in a sunflower diversity panel including inbred lines, open-pollinated varieties, introgression lines, landraces, recombinant inbred lines, and F2 populations. Validation provided 20,502 high-quality bi-allelic SNPs with stable cluster performance whereby each SNP marker represents a single locus mostly in or near transcribed regions of the sunflower genome. Analyses of population structure and quantitative resistance to Sclerotinia midstalk rot demonstrate that this array represents a significant improvement over currently available genomic tools for genetic diversity analyses, genome-wide marker-trait association studies, and genetic mapping in sunflower.