Wie, who has struggled badly this season, shot a bogey-free six-under 66 to match Angela Stanford and Candie Kung at the Guadalajara Country Club.
The 23-year-old Wie has managed just two top-20 finishes this season and needed a sponsor invitation to get into the 36-player field after failing to qualify.
But, returning to the tournament where she claimed her first LPGA Tour win in 2009, she birdied the opening two holes before doing likewise on the first four holes of the back nine to match her best score of the year.
“It’s been a really difficult year,” Wie said. “It’s been the hardest year I’ve had so far, but I think the guacamole is helping this week, and I think that might be the changing point, so I’m going to keep eating it and hopefully it will help.
“It’s nice to come back to a golf course where we have a lot of good memories.
"I think the fans are really fun when they come to watch, and I really hope they come to watch. The food is great, everything about this place is great. It’s always really fun to come back here.”
Kung of Taiwan and American Stanford - winner of the inaugural event in 2008 - both had seven birdies and a bogey each.
A shot behind the three leaders were Stacy Lewis and Inbee Park, who are battling it out in the LPGA Player of the Year points race. Lewis, who picked up her fourth title of the season last week in Japan, holds a 58-point lead over Park with two events remaining.
Also on 67 were So Yeon Ryu of South Korea, France's Karine Icher and another American Cristie Kerr.
Tournament host Ochoa, who retired in 2010, opened with a 71, as did defending champion Catriona Matthew.
Four strokes back at 70 was a large group that contained Suzann Pettersen and world number one Yani Tseng.
- Sports & Recreation
- Angela Stanford
- Candie Kung