The American Ted Ligety, the defending champion, struggled to find an attacking rhythm and placed 20th in the first run.
“It ran a lot easier than I anticipated, but I didn’t attack as I could have or should have,” Ligety said. “No real explanation for that. I thought it would run a little bit more challenging than it did.” Ligety wound up tied for 15th after both runs.
On the second run, Hirscher again put up a fast time to win by an almost insulting 1.27 seconds, while Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway pipped Pintarault for the silver by four hundredths of a second.
Hirscher had disappointed in 2014, winning just one silver. But in 2018, having already won the combined, he will be a heavy favorite to pick up a third gold medal in the slalom on Thursday.