Rawson, the 28-year-old Australian who has missed nine cuts in 13 starts this year, had nine birdies and two bogeys to break Dawn Coe-Jones’ course mark by a shot.
Top-ranked Lorena Ochoa, the 2007 winner at Royal Mayfair in Edmonton, was two strokes back along with Amanda Blumenherst, while Michelle Wie opened with a 76.
Rawson played in ideal morning conditions.
“I really tried today to just stay in the moment,” she said. “I’m so good at getting ahead of myself and saying, `Oh, if I get to 3, if I get to 4, if I get to 5 under.’ So I just didn’t even think about it.”
It’s the kind of approach that would make Kevin Sverduk proud.
The sports psychologist from Long Beach, Calif., started working with Rawson over the summer and has emphasized the importance of staying focused on the task at hand.
Rawson, a part-time model, confessed that she recently considered quitting golf, something she even withheld from her psychologist for a month.
“I think this year has just been terrible mentally,” Rawson said. “Like I’ve just had the worst head that you could ever imagine.
“I don’t even want to tell you what’s been going through my head – it’s that bad. I thought about everything that I shouldn’t. I really haven’t hit the ball that bad. I just haven’t been here. I haven’t been enjoying it.”
Ochoa had a bogey-free round.
“I’m really happy with that,” Ochoa said. “It was important to get started in the right direction. I like my position.”
Pettersen, coming off a playoff loss to M.J. Hur last week in the Safeway Classic in Oregon, also had a bogey-free round – win windy afternoon conditions.
“Very, very tough because the wind is so gusty and it’s swirling,” Pettersen said. “Sometimes you think it’s down and then it’s dead into you, and then it’s off the right and off the left. So you have to try to control the trajectory, which I’m doing really well right now.”
Wie was even par – two birdies and two bogeys – through seven holes, then bogeyed six of the final 11 holes in her afternoon round. She tied for fourth last week at Pumpkin Ridge after going 3-0-1 in the United States’ Solheim Cup victory over Europe.
Katherine Hull, the winner last year at Ottawa Hunt, shot a 73.