Vijay Singh, who won the PGA Championship for the second time in his career in August, missed a short birdie putt that would have put him into a tie for first at Poipu Bay Golf Course. Singh finished at 6-under-par 66, two strokes clear of Masters champion Phil Mickelson, who eagled the last for a round of 68. British Open winner Todd Hamilton rounded out the elite field at 2-under-par 70.
Goosen, making his second appearance at this event, was on fire out of the gate and dropped his second shot inside two feet for a birdie at the par-4 first. He then birdied the second and ran home a long birdie putt at the third. At the par-4 fourth, Goosen knocked his approach to 13 feet and sank the putt to make it four in a row.
The South African kept on rolling with a birdie at the par-5 sixth but found trouble with a bogey at the eighth. Goosen countered at the very next hole and played his second shot to four feet for a birdie at the par-4 ninth to join Singh at 5-under.
Goosen then hit his approach within two feet of the cup for a kick-in birdie at the par-4 12th to take the outright lead. He three-putted for a bogey at the following hole, but got that shot back with a birdie at the par-514th.
Goosen hit a bad tee shot that found a bunker at the par-3 17th, but he hit out of the sand within inches of the hole. The 35-year-old then reached the green in two at the par-5 18th and took two putts for a closing birdie to secure sole possession of first.
'It was nice to get off to a good start,' Goosen said. 'I'm looking forward to tomorrow.'
Singh had a hot start to his round as well with birdies on each of his first two holes. He struggled to a bogey at the third, but landed his second shot inside three feet for a birdie at the par-4 fifth.
The World No. 1 then eagled the par-5 sixth and dropped his tee shot inside eight feet for a birdie at the par-3 seventh to move to minus-five.
Singh birdied the 14th to keep pace with Goosen and struck his second shot within 16 feet of the hole for a birdie at the par-4 15th to move into first place at 7-under. Singh then bogeyed the following hole and watched a six-foot putt for birdie lip out at the last to finish one shot back.
'I should have made that one on the last,' said Singh. 'But you just have to be patient. I'm looking forward to it.'
Mickelson had two of the shots of the day, starting at the par-5 second when he holed out with a wedge for an eagle. Mickelson then parred his next seven holes before he picked up his first birdie of the day at the 10th.
The left-hander hit a bad drive en route to a bogey at the 12th but responded with a birdie at the 14th. Mickelson managed a bogey at the 15th but redeemed himself at the closing hole.
After a monstrous drive, Mickelson's second shot to the par-5 18th almost dropped into the hole before rolling five feet past the pin. Mickelson converted the short eagle try to finish within three of the lead.
'That was an important shot,' said Mickelson. 'Because I hit that good drive I felt like I could go ahead and attack the pin.'
Hamilton collected a trio of birdies over his first seven holes but gave a shot back with a bogey at the 10th. Hamilton then bogeyed the 15th but two- putted for a birdie at the last to finish at 2-under.
This event features the winners of the four major championships.