A 40-minute fog delay early Saturday morning set the tournament back and play was suspended due to darkness with seven players coming back Sunday morning at 9:15 a.m. ET to finish off the first round.
Virginia Grimes, who won this title in 1998 and was a semifinalist last year, posted a 1-over-par 73. She is tied for second place with Mari Miezwa.
Woodard began her opening round on the back nine and bogeyed the 123-yard, par-3 12th hole. She collected all pars from there, but on her second nine, pars were few and far between.
She birdied the first, but dropped shots at two and four. Woodard atoned for the errors with back-to-back birdies at five and six, but she bogeyed the par-3 seventh to fall back to plus-1.
Woodard, 32, birdied the eighth from 20 feet out to get to even-par. She parred the par-5 ninth, but it will most likely be enough to claim the first-round lead when play is completed Sunday morning.
Woodard has a decent record in this event. In 2005, she finished second in the two rounds of stroke play, but has never fared well in the match-play section, which will begin on Monday.
'It's probably my favorite tournament because of seeing everyone that you don't see all the time,' said Woodard. 'I don't know why I play well (in this championship). I'm glad I do.'
Rheba Mabie, Cissye Gallagher, Thuhashini Selvaratnam and Tanna Richard Lee are knotted in fifth place at 2-over-par 74.
Two-time winner Carol Semple Thompson, Robin Burke, Tara Joy-Connelly, Meghan Bolger, Sydney Moore and Pamela Harnack-Fanady are tied for ninth place at plus-3.