CATRIONA Matthew, the defending champion, had ground to make up in the second round of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Guadalajara, Mexico.
The North Berwick player opened with a one-under-par 71 to sit five shots behind three co-leaders, American pair Michelle Wie and Angela Stanford and Candie Kung from Chinese Taipei.
All three shot opening rounds of 66 – six under on the par-72 course at Guadalajara Country Club – to sit a stroke clear of five other players.
Wie returned a blemish-free card with six birdies, including four in a row to start the back nine, while Kung and Stanford both hit seven birdies and a single bogey.
Karine Icher, of France, and South Korean pair So Yeon-ryu and Inbee Park join two more Americans – Stacy Lewis and Christie Kerr – in the chasing pack.
Katherine Hull and IK Kim round out the top ten with four-under rounds of 68.
Matthew, who won the LPGA Tour event by four shots 12 months ago, ran up an early-double bogey then birdied the sixth and seventh to be out in 36.
She dropped a shot at the 15th but bounced back with two more birdies – at the 16th and 18th – to sit alongside tournament host Ochoa, who is making a return to her own event after the former world No 1 came out of retirement earlier this year to make an appearance in the French Open.