Great Britain's Laura Davies, a two-time former winner, birdied the final two holes for an opening 68 and was just two shots off the lead after the first round of the Evian Masters in France.
Mexico's Lorena Ochoa, Australian Shani Waugh and South Korean Mi Hyun Kim shared the lead on six-under-par 66, a shot ahead of three-time British Open Champion Karrie Webb, from Australia.
Davies, the winner back in 1995 and 1996, was joint-fifth alongside Swede Maria Hjorth and Korean Se Ri Pak, with 16-year-old Michelle Wie and world No 1 Annika Sorenstam in the next group on 69.
Davies had complained about the heat after yesterday's Pro-am, but she showed she had plenty of stamina with a brilliant finish. She holed a 15-foot putt at the short 17th hole and one from close range at the long 18th.
"I made a couple of stupid bogeys with a sand wedge in hand each time but, overall, I played well and am very happy," said the 42-year-old veteran, who is aiming to end a 28-month winning drought.
"Now I'm off to play in the (annual) caddie and sponsors football match."
Wie finished in even more stunning fashion by downing a 45-foot eagle putt at the last. "It was great to end on a good note," said the Hawaiian teenager with a smile.
On her most recent outing - at the John Deere Classic on the men's PGA Tour in America - Wie was forced to pull out in the second round due to heat exhaustion. With temperatures hitting 33 degrees at Evian-les-Bains, the youngster admitted she "had played smart". "I drank a lot of water and had an umbrella for shade," she said.
Lancashire's Kirsty Taylor, who defends the Wales' Ladies' Championship of Europe in three weeks time, was well-placed on 71, but the other four Britons were down the field. Yorkshire's Rebecca Hudson was on 74, Scot Catriona Matthew had a 75, Trish Johnson was on 76 and Karen Stupples, the 2005 Weetabix Women's British Open Champion, slumped to a 78.