Paula Creamer and Angela Park both shot five-under 67 on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Samsung World Championship.
Defending champion Lorena Ochoa had a double-bogey at Bighorn's 18th hole to end one shot back with Mi Hyun Kim and Kraft Nabisco champion Morgan Pressel at four- under 68.
Jeong Jang and Se Ri Pak were another stroke further back at 69, while Angela Stanford and Jee Young Lee both shot 70.
On her 18th birthday, Michelle Wie had a seven-over 79 and was in last place by three shots. Wie accepted a special invitation for the final spot in this select 20-player field in a controversial decision for a player who has made just two cuts and less than $10,000 in seven LPGA Tour events this season. She was disqualified for signing an incorrect third-round scorecard after the 2005 Samsung, where she was playing as a professional for the first time. It erased what would have been a fourth-place finish.
Evian Masters winner Natalie Gulbis would have received the last spot in the field this week if not for Wie's invitation.
"It was a really tough day," said Wie, who has already started her freshman year at Stanford. "I just couldn't get anything going."
What could have been the highlight of her day turned out to be emblematic of how disappointing it was: a good wedge shot that hit the pin and spun back 30 feet from the hole.
"It was just that kind of day," said Wie. "All the putts looked like they were going to go in, but they didn't. Obviously, I had a couple of stray tee shots, but there’s always tomorrow."
The tournament added an exemption this season for an active Hall of Fame player in a move seen as a way to get the struggling -- and otherwise unqualified Annika Sorenstam -- into the tournament. But Sorenstam declined the invitation, with her agent saying she didn't want the perception to be that she was taking a spot from another player "She decided to do what's best for the LPGA," said Mark Steinberg.
It meant no showdown this week between the former world No. 1 and her successor, six-time 2007 winner Ochoa. The Mexican star spent most of Thursday at the top of the leaderboard before sending her drive at the 18th into a bush on the way to a double-bogey six.
She had six birdies in a spotless round through the first 17 holes.
"It was a good day -- seventeen really good holes, a lot of birdie chances, and unfortunately I finished with a double-bogey," said Ochoa. "There was nothing else I could have done. I'm happy that I am in a good position."
Park, 19, started with birdies on her first three holes, including back-to- back 10-foot birdie putts at the first and second hole. She had four birdies and two bogeys the rest of the way -- both bogeys coming after the young Brazilian hit shots into a bunker.
She has already locked up 2007 LPGA Rookie of the Year honors with six top-10 finishes this season.
"I think knowing the course out here and playing it a couple of times gave me a little bit of an advantage," Park said. "Knowing where the mounds were, knowing where I could miss it and still be OK -- I think that was the key today."
Creamer, the 2005 Rookie of the Year, posted a bogey-free 67 to join Park in the lead.
"I think the biggest part of my day today was the second hole," she said. "I made par, but I hit it in the left bunker and I couldn't go for the green. The lip was too high, and I laid up, and I got up and down from 115 yards. I think that really was kind of the key. It kept my momentum."