Patrick Reed's Tournament of Champions title defence got off to the perfect start on Thursday, with the 2015 winner earning a one-stroke lead in Hawaii.
American Reed carded a flawless eight-under-par 65 to be clear of world number one and countryman Jordan Spieth at the first PGA Tour tournament of the New Year.
Brandt Snedeker, J.B. Holmes and Danny Lee held the clubhouse lead after holing first-round 67s as Reed and Spieth approached the 18th hole at the Kapalua Resort.
And Reed eagled the par-five to leapfrog the trio for the outright lead ahead of Spieth, who settled for a 66 after birdieing his final hole.
Fabian Gomez birded four consecutive holes on the front nine as he posted a five-under-par 68.
Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Kevin Kisner, Brooks Koepka and Steven Bowditch are a stroke further back in a star-studded field restricted to players who won a tournament during the previous season.
Fowler only dropped one shot for an opening 69 but his shoes stole the show.
The 27-year-old donned new high-top Puma shoes with tight, shortened pants.
"During a recent meeting, Rickie expressed interest in wearing a high-top cleat shoe that could be worn with more progressive apparel," said Puma's head of golf footwear Grant Knudson in a statement.
"The result is a stylish, cleated performance high-top that includes a lace and Velcro closure."
Australian world number two Jason Day headlines a group of seven players at three under, including Smylie Kaufman and Padraig Harrington.
David Lingmerth is a shot behind, while Graeme McDowell is two over the card alongside Zach Johnson.