KAPALUA, Hawaii, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Nick Watney opened the PGA Tour season Thursday with a 5-under 68 that put him one shot in front at the Mercedes-Benz Championship in Kapalua, Hawaii.
Watney won in New Orleans last year for his first triumph in three full seasons on the tour, and he got 2008 started right by making three straight birdies beginning at the third hole.
He also birdied two of the last four holes on the Kapalua Plantation Course.
The 31-player field contains only winners from the tour last year. But as they have in recent years, the two biggest winners are skipping the season-opening event.