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Michelle Wie watched her 20-foot birdie putt roll into the cup on her final hole, pumped her fist and waved to the gallery.

After spending all day scrambling to save par around Mission Hills, Wie finished the opening round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first major of the year on the LPGA Tour, at 1-under-par 71.

The way she was missing fairways, particularly early on, she could have been 4 or 5 strokes over. But her short game saved her and gave her confidence in her first appearance in this tournament in three years. Wie made several putts of 6 to 8 feet during her round of three birdies and two bogeys.

"I feel very confident and grateful that they went in," Wie said after a birdie on the par-5 9th. "Hopefully tomorrow they'll be for birdie."

Defending champion Lorena Ochoa got off to an uncharacteristically poor start with a 1-over 73. Three years ago, Ochoa opened with a 62 at Mission Hills to tie an LPGA major championship record.

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