LAS VEGAS, Oct 12 (Reuters) Birthday girl Michelle Wie had little to celebrate after South Korea's Angela Park and American Paula Creamer set the pace in the World Championship first round in Palm Desert, California.
Stanford University student Wie, on her 18th birthday, plummeted to the bottom of the leaderboard in the elite field of 20 after battling to a seven-over-par 79 at Bighorn Golf Club.
Park and Creamer, however, made the most of near-perfect conditions in the Californian desert by charging one stroke clear with matching 67s.
Title-holder Lorena Ochoa, the Mexican world number one, was a further stroke back in a tie for third spot with South Korea's Kim Mi-hyun and American Morgan Pressel.
Ochoa, bidding for her seventh victory of the year, got to six under after reeling off six birdies in the first 16 holes before slipping back with a double-bogey at the last.
Reuters DKS VP0604