LPGA warms up for opening major of year
BY Bruce Young | LPGA Tour | 2013 Kia Classic | Preview | 21 Mar 2013
With just two weeks to the opening major of the year on the LPGA Tour, the Kraft Nabisco, this week’s Kia Classic at the Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad in California takes on an important role and nearly everyone of the game’s leading players are in the field to fine tune their game’s for the big test at Mission Hills beginning on April 4th.
The tournament’s defending champion is Yani Tseng who for the third time in 2013 will look to defend a title she had won the previous year. None of her attempts have been successful to date, in fact she has now been dethroned as the game’s leading player.
Tseng does though get another chance to successfully defend, this time a title she won by a massive six shots last year.
Stacy Lewis last week took over the mantle of the leading female player in the game and with six LPGA Tour victories in her last twelve months she appears set to carry on the trend.
The 28 year old has not played this event well in the past having a best of 25th in three attempts although she is a considerably better golfer now than she was then.
Inbee Park finished runner-up in this event in 2010 and her most recent form in 2013 is very good having won in Thailand and finished 2nd in China. Her chances of continuing her most impressive run of consistency appear very good.
Jiyai Shin has a good record in this event without winning. She finished 2nd in 2010 and 3rd in 2011 and her most recent form includes a win at the Australian Open.
Na Yeon Choi comfortably sits amongst the elite of the game and while her efforts in this event have not been outstanding she has done well enough in the event and in recent weeks to be a factor.
Karrie Webb, Lindsey Wright, Katherine Hull Kirk, Sarah Jane Smith and Sarah Kemp are the Australians in the line-up with Wright producing a very impressive 8th place finish last week following a return from injury.