LPGA - Kia Classic Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, March 22nd through Sunday, March 25th
SITE: La Costa Resort & Spa (Legends Course), Carlsbad, California
COURSE ARCHITECT: Dick Wilson (1965), Joe Lee (1973, 1984)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 6,490
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 375 Yds10 - Par 4 427 Yds
2 - Par 4 340 Yds11 - Par 3 173 Yds
3 - Par 5 465 Yds12 - Par 5 522 Yds
4 - Par 4 371 Yds13 - Par 4 405 Yds
5 - Par 4 367 Yds14 - Par 3 162 Yds
6 - Par 3 156 Yds15 - Par 4 331 Yds
7 - Par 5 505 Yds16 - Par 4 390 Yds
8 - Par 3 149 Yds17 - Par 5 535 Yds
9 - Par 4 418 Yds18 - Par 4 399 Yds
36 3,146 Yds36 3,344 Yds
Annual:  3rd
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Saturday -- 6:30-9 p.m. (et),
  - Sunday -- 7-9 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Sandra Gal
Runner-Up:  Jiyai Shin
Tournament Record:  276 (Hee Kyung Seo, 2010; Sandra Gal, 2011)
54-Hole Record:  204 (Jiyai Shin, 2011)
36-Hole Record:  134 (Jiyai Shin, 2011)
18-Hole Record:  64 (Jiyai Shin, 2011 - Industry Hills Golf Club)
Course Record:  65 (Inbee Park, 2010)
Total Purse:  $1,700,000
Shares:  1st Place - $255,000; 2nd Place - $158,182; 3rd Place - $112,625
2011 Finish
Sandra Gal276Na Yeon Choi283
Jiyai Shin277Marcy Hart284
Cristie Kerr281Michelle Wie284
I.K. Kim281Mindy Kim284
Yani Tseng283Suzann Pettersen286
Juli Inkster286
Past Kia Classic Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2011Sandra Gal (276) -- Jiyai Shin
2010Hee Kyung Seo (276) -- Inbee Park

Top Contenders in the Field
Sandra GalT-39Won
Jiyai ShinT-32nd
Cristie KerrT-14T-3
I.K. KimT-31T-3
Na Yeon ChoiT-14T-5
Yani TsengT-57T-5
Michelle WieT-6T-7
Suzann PettersenT-52T-10
Inbee Park2ndT-18
Ai MiyazatoT-39T-24
Stacy LewismcT-24
Shanshan FengT-6T-29
Catriona MatthewT-6T-29
Song-Hee Kim10thT-32
Paula Creamer---T-32
Morgan PresselT-6T-42
Brittany LincicomemcT-46
Angela StanfordmcT-59
Karrie WebbT-39T-62
Candie KungT-368th
Hee Kyung SeoWonmc
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Na Yeon Choi
Darkhorse - Shanshan Feng
Last Week's Pick to Win (Yani Tseng) - Finished 1st
Last Week's Darkhorse (Jenny Shin) - Finished tied for 32nd
The LPGA Tour travels to California this week for the Kia Classic at La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad. This is the fifth event of the LPGA Tour season. Jessica Korda captured the season-opening ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open; world No. 1 Yani Tseng won the Honda LPGA Thailand and RR Donnelley Founders Cup; and Angela Stanford won the HSBC Women's Champions. The top-four players in the world are in the field - Tseng, Na Yeon Choi, Suzann Pettersen and Cristie Kerr.

Last year, Sandra Gal birdied the 72nd hole to capture her first career LPGA Tour victory. Gal and third-round leader Jiyai Shin went into No. 18 all square at 15-under par, and the tournament appeared headed for a playoff after Shin's third shot was three feet away from the pin and Gal's one. However, Shin took a little extra time to get her putt off, and it lipped out of the right side of the hole and stayed out. After she tapped in for par, Gal had an easy birdie putt to win the tournament. Gal finished at 16-under-par 276 at Industry Hills Golf Club. She became the second German to win on the LPGA Tour, joining Tina Fischer (2001 Asahi Ryokuken International).

In 2010, Hee Kyung Seo shot rounds of 70-67-69-70 to cruise to a six-stroke win over Inbee Park. Seo, who played on a sponsor's invitation, finished at 12-under-par 276 for her first LPGA Tour win in her eighth tour start. Park carded the low round of the tournament with a final round of 65.

The tournament is being held on the Legends Course at La Costa Resort & Spa, which also hosted the 2010 inaugural event. The 2011 tournament was staged at Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms.

The LPGA Tour remains in California next week for the first major of the season, the Kraft Nabisco Championship in Rancho Mirage, where American Stacy Lewis captured her first major title last year.

03/20 14:41:31 ET

As of March 20, 2012, at 02:41 PM ET
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