Kia Classic: The LPGA Ramps Up For the First Major

The LPGA Tour’s Kia Classic begins today in Carlsbad, California, just 25 miles north of downtown San Diego in a Park Hyatt Resort and residential community named Aviara. The famed La Costa Resort is just around the corner.

This will be a very telling tournament for the players because many are treating it as a tuneup for next week’s first major of the year, the Kraft Nabisco in Palm Springs. All of them are treating it as the Kia Classic, of course, because that’s the tournament there are playing right here and right now. If it turns out to be a possible harbinger of good play, so much the better. If it doesn’t, there is the fact that this ocean climate with its cool, heavy air is quite different than the warm, dry air of the desert. They’ll have some measure of that having just coming in from Phoenix.

Whatever the case, the two pictures on the LPGA’s Kia Classic landing page look gorgeous. The course is nestled in two coastal canyons that run north and south and along the Batiquitos Lagoon that runs west into the Pacific Ocean. They’ll be playing it at 6,593 yards, a good test for the ladies at sea level.

All of the top-10 players in the world will be there except for No. 2, Suzann Pettersen. Here are some of the featured pairings:

7:55 – 10 – Paula Creamer, Inbee Park, Michelle Wie

8:05 – 10 – Jenny Suh, Lizette Salas, Lexi Thompson

8:15 – 1 – Yani Tseng, Brittany Lang, Karine Icher

8:15 – 10 – Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel, Angela Stanford

8:25 – 1 – Eun-Hee Ji, So Yeon Ryu, Juli Inkster

8:25 – 10 – Ai Miyazato, Caroline Hedwall, Shanshan Feng

And in the afternoon…

12:40 – 1 – Lydia Ko, Karrie Webb, Azahara Munoz

12:40 – 10 – Na Yeon Choi, Lorie Kane, Chella Choi

12:50 – 1 – Beatriz Recari, Sandra Gal, Christie Kerr

1:00 – 1 – Stacy Lewis, Anna Nordqvist, Laura Davis

1:10 – 1 – I.K. Kim, Gerina Piller, Se Ri Pak

And of note is that hometown girl, Ryann O’Toole is in the field, as is Carling (Coffing) Nolan, winner of the Golf Channel’s Big Break Sandals Resort.

As usual, I can’t wait to see what the leaderboard looks like tonight.

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