In a windy, wacky start to the new season, Jesper Parnevik made a bogey and two double bogeys on the back nine, caught grief for his bright red pants and still managed to lead after today's opening round of the Mercedes Championship.
After nearly holing a 100-foot shot with his putter from off the 18th green, Parnevik tapped in for a birdie that capped a roller coaster round and gave him a 4-under 69 on the Plantation Course at Kapalua, one stroke ahead of Duffy Waldorf.
Tiger Woods, trying to become the first player since Ben Hogan in 1953 to win five straight tournaments, had a 2-under 71, tied with Ernie Els. Defending champion David Duval birdied the last two holes and was another stroke back.
Woods capped the 1999 season by winning the last four events and finishing at least seventh in 13 out of his last 14 tournaments.
"He has to screw up pretty bad not to be up on the leader board," Parnevik said of Woods. "He doesn't have to do everything right to win. And when he does everything right, he runs away with it."
On a day in which the average score was 75.03 because of 40 mph gusts and severe grain in the Bermuda greens, Parnevik birdied six of the first 11 holes to open a four-shot lead.
"And then the fun began," he said.
He missed the 12th green and three-putted for double bogey, then missed the green and dumped a chip shot into the bunker for another double bogey on the 13th. Parnevik birdied the next two holes to right the ship, just in time to chunk a wedge on No. 17 that led to a bogey.
An official on the 18th green announced Parnevik as wearing "the wild red pants," not uncommon for the most eccentric dresser in golf.
Parnevik's putt veered some 20 feet to the left once it reached the green and grazed the cup, giving him his ninth birdie of the day and a one-shot lead.
Only eight players managed to break par, unlike the first round last year when only three of the 30 players in the winners-only field failed to break par.