Australia's Stuart Appleby held off a furious late charge by Vijay Singh with a closing two-under-par 71 to win the Mercedes Championships by a single stroke on Sunday.
World No. 1 Tiger Woods, twice a winner of the event, also carded a 71 to finish tied for fourth, his cheque for US$275,000 lifting his career earnings on the PGA Tour above US$40 million.
Appleby, who led by six shots with seven holes remaining, ended the opening tournament of the 2004 PGA Tour on 22-under-par 270.
Singh faltered on the front nine before four birdies in the final five holes gave him a three-under-par 70 round as the Fijian registered his ninth top-six finish, dating back to last August's WGC-NEC Invitational.
Britain's Darren Clarke finished alone in third on 275, five shots off the pace at 17-under-par after also shooting a 70.
Woods and South Africa's Retief Goosen finished on 15-under-par in a share of fourth.
Defending champion Ernie Els could not replicate his form of last year, finishing tied for 21st at four-under-par, 27 shots off his record-breaking performance 12 months ago.
Appleby took a methodical approach to The Plantation Course in winning his fifth title on the Tour.
He made at least one birdie on 16 of the 18 holes over the four rounds and never got himself into truly difficult situations, recording only seven bogeys on the windswept Maui layout.
In the final round, Appleby took control early and made the turn at three-under, extending a two-shot third round lead over Singh to six.
Despite Singh's late flourish, Appleby was rarely threatened and only the final margin of victory, not the outcome, was ever likely to change on the final day.
"I didn't need to go out and make birdies," Appleby said of his play on the back nine.
"What I needed to do was position myself to have a reasonable chance of making birdies. I didn't have to go smashing anything in the hole."
Putting has never been Singh's strong suit and it was his downfall over the final two rounds, as he took 32 putts in the third round and needed 30 on Sunday.
"The putter took a lot away from me this week," Singh said.