KAPALUA, HAWAII - Geoff Ogilvy opened the PGA Tour season Thursday by saving par on the last hole -- the only time he got in trouble all day -- for a 6-under-par 67 and a one-shot lead in the Mercedes-Benz Championship, a score that only surprised him because of the location.
In his eight previous rounds on the Plantation course at Kapalua, Ogilvy had never shot better than 72.
But the former U.S. Open champion is coming off a victory in the Australian PGA Championship and a tie for sixth in the Australian Open last month, and he was just as sharp in taking the first-round lead over Ernie Els, Kenny Perry and fast-closing Johnson Wagner in this winners-only tournament.
"I haven't shot very many good rounds around this course, so maybe that's a surprising thing," Ogilvy said. "But the fact that I'm playing OK is not surprising."
Els arrived in Maui having played only once in the past six weeks, and that worked well for him. In his first time to Kapalua in four years, he made only one blunder -- a tee shot into the hazard on the par-5 15th -- to get his season off to a solid start.
Wagner, one of a dozen newcomers to the winners-only Mercedes with his victory in the Shell Houston Open, wasn't even in the picture until a birdie-birdie-eagle finish. Perry joined the group at 68 with a birdie on the last hole.