Paula Creamer heated up on the back nine and posted a 5-under-par 67 to tie Mariajo Uribe of Colombia atop the leaderboard following round one of the Kia Classic at Park Hyatt Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad.
Creamer, from Pleasanton, collected six birdies, including four on the last six holes and had only a single bogey, at the 15th hole.
“Just gave myself a bunch of looks and put it on the right side of the hole,” said Creamer, who earlier this month claimed her 10th LPGA Tour victory in the HSBC Women’s Champions when she holed a 75-foot eagle putt to beat Azahara Munoz of Spain on the second playoff hole.
“I missed a couple fairways out there, which is not normal for me. … I’m going to definitely go hit some balls to fix that, but for the most part, I’ve been pretty steady.”
Uribe, who played at UCLA and won the 2007 U.S. Women’s Amateur but has never won an official event as a pro, birdied four consecutive holes through No. 5 and added another at No. 11 in her bogey-free 67.
Cristie Kerr, who has won 16 times on the LPGA Tour including two majors, carded six birdies in her 68 and was tied for third with Shanshan Feng of China, Jodi Ewart Shadoff of England and Mi Hyang Lee of South Korea.
Top-ranked Inbee Park of South Korea shot 69 and was tied for seventh with Munoz, Lexi Thompson, Tiffany Joh of San Diego and UCLA, and Lizette Salas of Azusa and USC.