LPGA - Kia Classic Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, March 21st through Sunday, March 24th
SITE: Aviara Golf Club, Carlsbad, California
COURSE ARCHITECT: Arnold Palmer (1991)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 6,593
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 351 Yds10 - Par 5 515 Yds
2 - Par 4 390 Yds11 - Par 3 181 Yds
3 - Par 3 147 Yds12 - Par 4 371 Yds
4 - Par 4 372 Yds13 - Par 4 349 Yds
5 - Par 5 543 Yds14 - Par 3 168 Yds
6 - Par 3 175 Yds15 - Par 4 413 Yds
7 - Par 4 393 Yds16 - Par 4 372 Yds
8 - Par 5 523 Yds17 - Par 5 570 Yds
9 - Par 4 378 Yds18 - Par 4 382 Yds
36 3,272 Yds36 3,321 Yds
Annual:  4th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 6:30-8:30 p.m. (et),
  - Saturday/Sunday -- 7-9 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Yani Tseng
Runner-Up:  Sun Young Yoo
Tournament Record:  274 (Yani Tseng, 2012)
54-Hole Record:  204 (Jiyai Shin, 2011; Yani Tseng, 2012)
36-Hole Record:  134 (Jiyai Shin, 2011)
18-Hole Record:  64 (Jiyai Shin, 2011 - Industry Hills Golf Club)
Total Purse:  $1,700,000
Shares:  1st Place - $255,000; 2nd Place - $158,182; 3rd Place - $112,625
2012 Finish
Yani Tseng274Caroline Hedwall283
Sun Young Yoo280Se Ri Pak284
Shanshan Feng281Jodi Ewart Shadoff284
Jiyai Shin281Brittany Lincicome285
Ai Miyazato283Two players at286
Past Kia Classic Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2012Yani Tseng (274) -- Sun Young Yoo
2011Sandra Gal (276) -- Jiyai Shin
2010Hee Kyung Seo (276) -- Inbee Park

Top Contenders in the Field
Yani TsengT-57T-5Won
Sun Young YoomcT-122nd
Jiyai ShinT-32ndT-3
Shanshan FengT-6T-29T-3
Ai MiyazatoT-39T-24T-5
Brittany LincicomemcT-469th
Catriona MatthewT-6T-29T-10
Suzann PettersenT-52T-10T-12
Inbee Park2ndT-18T-12
Na Yeon ChoiT-14T-5T-18
Morgan PresselT-6T-42T-20
Stacy LewismcT-24T-25
Paula Creamer---T-32T-25
Karrie WebbT-39T-62T-25
Sandra GalT-39WonT-37
Cristie KerrT-14T-3T-37
I.K. KimT-31T-3T-43
Angela StanfordmcT-59T-43
Hee Kyung SeoWonmcT-43
Michelle WieT-6T-7mc
Candie KungT-368thmc
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Paula Creamer
Darkhorse - Candie Kung
Last Week's Pick to Win (Stacy Lewis) - Won
Last Week's Darkhorse (Jessica Korda) - Finished tied for 4th
NOTES:The LPGA Tour travels to California this week for the Kia Classic at
Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad. This is the fifth event of the LPGA Tour season. Jiyai Shin captured the season-opening ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open; Inbee Park won the Honda LPGA Thailand; and new world No. 1 Stacy Lewis captured the HSBC Women's Champions and RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup. The top-17 players in the world are in the field this week. Shin has finished in the top three at this event the first three years of the tournament but has yet to win.

Lewis will be trying to win her third consecutive tournament this week. She overtook Yani Tseng at the top of the women's world rankings after her win last week. Tseng has not won on the LPGA Tour since this event last year. Since that time, Lewis has won five LPGA Tour events and was the 2012 LGPA Tour Player of the Year. She is only the second American to sit atop the world rankings, joining Cristie Kerr.

The tournament is being held at Aviara Golf Club for the first time. Golf legend Arnold Palmer designed the course, which opened for play in 1991. The 2010 and 2012 events were played at La Costa Resort & Spa, while the 2011 tournament was staged at Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms.

Last year, Tseng fired rounds of 67-68-69-70 to claim a 6-stroke victory over Sun Young Yoo. She finished at 14-under-par 274 to capture her second consecutive title, her third of the 2012 season and the 15th of her career. Tseng established a new tournament record at 274.

In 2011, Sandra Gal birdied the 72nd hole to capture her first career LPGA Tour victory. 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).

Hee Kyung Seo shot rounds of 70-67-69-70 in 2010 to cruise to a 6-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 start. Park carded the low round of the tournament with a final round of 65.

The LPGA Tour remains in California in two weeks for the first major of the season, the Kraft Nabisco Championship in Rancho Mirage, where Yoo captured her first major title last year.

03/19 17:05:37 ET

As of March 19, 2013, at 05:05 PM ET