Michelle Wie and Se-Ri Pak failed to catch early clubhouse leader Shanshan Feng on the first day of the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills Country Club.
Feng - the 2012 LPGA Championship winner - mixed seven birdies with a bogey on the 15th hole to sign for a six-under 66 and the outright lead after the morning session in Rancho Mirage, California.
But Hawaiian Wie, helped significantly by her eagle on the par-five 11th hole, later caught up with the Chinese player before dropping a shot on the 17th to finish the day one stroke off the pace.
Her birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie run on the turn had Feng - looking for her first victory at this major - watching nervously from the clubhouse and Wie said she felt "hot" after sinking a putt for her eagle.
"That was good," she told Sky Sports. "The drive down there and a little cut with the six iron, and it was one of those putts that just dropped in and it was awesome.
"I felt really good after that eagle, I felt really hot out there."
Pak of South Korea also carded a five-under 67 to sit in a share of second place with Wie, where she is one ahead of both her countrywoman Amy Yang and 15-year-old American Angel Yin.
A freshman at Arcadia High School in Los Angeles County, teenager Yin impressed with three birdies on the front nine but, on her way back in, she mixed three more birdies with two bogeys.
Jiyai Shin, Jennifer Rosales and Cristie Kerr are in a three-way tie for sixth place.
Reigning champion Inbee Park had an opening round to forget, shooting three bogeys and a birdie to sit two-over par while 2011 winner Stacy Lewis is a stroke better off in a share of 30th place with New Zealand's Lydia Ko and English hopeful Charley Hull.