Kia Classic 2017

DATES: March 23-26
SITE: Aviara Golf Club, Carlsbad CA
PRIZE MONEY: $1,800,000

Round 4 - Mirim Lee captures Kia Classic

March 26, 2017

After her runner-up finish in 2015, Mirim Lee has won the Kia Classic. She started the final round with a one stroke lead finished with a 65, 7-under par to win by six strokes. So Yeon Ryu and Austin Ernst came in second.

Ryu continues solid play, but still looking for elusive victory

So far in 2017, So Yeon Ryu has played in four events, and her results have been nothing short of spectacular. The 2011 U.S. Women’s Open champion finished tied for second with Austin Ernst, her third top-5 result and fourth top-10 finish of the year.

“I felt like everything is pretty great,” said Ryu, who has not missed a cut since the 2014 ShopRite Classic. “When your game is kind of like perfect you’re able to win. Mine cannot (be) called perfect yet, but I think it’s good enough.”

But despite her strong play, Ryu has not hoisted the trophy since the 2014 Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, a streak of 61 tournaments. Going into next week’s ANA Inspiration, Ryu feels confident that her turn may finally be at hand.

“I’m definitely ready to win at some point,” said Ryu. “I just need to keep it patient and need to trust myself (that) I’m good.”

Ernst hopes to parlay good Kia performance into Solheim Cup berth

Austin Ernst finished tied for second and notched her best result of 2017. She also helped bolster her claim to a berth on the USA Solheim Cup Team, as Ernst held the eighth and final automatic qualifying spot going into the week.

“I really want to make Solheim this year,” said Ernst, who has one LPGA Tour victory to her name. “At the same time, solid golf takes care of it. I been playing really solid all year. Just keep doing those things and I’m going be in contention, which is what gets the points at the end of the week.”

Ahn sets tournament record, despite closing bogey

In 2016, Shi Hyun Ahn won the KLPGA’s Kia Motors Korea Women’s Open Championship. As part of her winnings, she received a sponsor exemption into this week’s LPGA Kia Classic, and she certainly made the most of the opportunity. Competing in only her third LPGA Tour event since 2011, Ahn converted 10 birdies – and one lone bogey at No. 18 – on Sunday to set the tournament and course record with a 9-under 63.

“I try to (make) every shot and I make it. Just feel like easy today,” said Ahn, who started her round in 69th at 3 over and ultimately finished at 6 under for the tournament.

This week marks the first time Ahn has played on North American soil since the 2011 CN Canadian Women’s Open. She received LPGA Rookie of the Year honors in 2004 after finishing second at the LPGA Championship and John Q. Hammons Hotel Classic, and captured her lone LPGA victory at the 2003 CJ Nine Bridges Classic. Recently, Ahn has played primarily on the KLPGA, though she has played in the KEB LPGA Hana Bank Championship in her native South Korea for the last two years.

Lucy Li wins junior Ana Inspiration, earns berth in season's first major

Lucy Li, who took the golf world by storm when she qualified for the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open at age 11, won the 2017 Junior ANA Inspiration and earned the final berth in next week’s ANA Inspiration. The tournament, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA), gave 40 of the world’s top junior female amateurs the opportunity to play their way into the season’s first major, being held at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California.

Now 14, Li earned a four-stroke victory and qualified for the second major championship of her young career. Her final round on Mission Hills’ Dinah Shore Course featured a pairing with LPGA Tour legend and six-time major champion Pat Bradley. Twenty LPGA legends participated in the day’s event.

“I’m just so excited right now and I can’t wait to play next week,” said Li. “The greens here are so pure and the rough is really thick. I had a lot of fun playing here. I want to thank all the LPGA legends for playing with us this week. I had so much fun with Pat Bradley. She made it so enjoyable and relaxing and I learned a lot from her.”

By the numbers

• 1.329 – The projected points differential between World No. 1 Lydia Ko and World No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn heading into next week’s ANA Inspiration, the season’s first major
• 1.503 – Ko’s points lead over Jutanugarn coming into the Kia Classic; Ko missed the cut, while Jutanugarn tied for 21st
• 2 – Times that Mirim Lee has held the 54-hole lead at the Kia Classic; she was not able to secure the title in 2015, but emerged victorious in 2017
• 3 – LPGA Tour victories for Mirim Lee (2014 Meijer LPGA Classic Presented by Kraft, 2014 Reignwood LPGA Classic, 2017 Kia Classic)
• 4 – Rounds in the 60s shot by Mirim Lee (68-68-67-65)
• 6 – Margin of victory by Mirim Lee over So Yeon Ryu and Austin Ernst, the largest span since Lexi Thompson earned a six-stroke win at the 2016 Honda LPGA Thailand
• 32 – Number of spots in the Rolex Rankings that Austin Ernst is projected to jump in tomorrow’s updated listing

Quotable

“It’s really great to see Korean players keep playing well. Also, I always feel very proud to see many Korean companies sponsoring the LPGA tournament. We just have a kind of like responsibility to play well on the LPGA.” - So Yeon Ryu, on the support the LPGA Tour receives from her native South Korea

Pos. Player Scores Total To Par Prize Money
1 Mirim Lee 68 - 68 - 67 - 65 268 -20 $270,000.00
2T So Yeon Ryu 73 - 70 - 65 - 66 274 -14 $144,126.00
2T Austin Ernst 70 - 68 - 69 - 67 274 -14 $144,126.00
4T Gerina Piller 69 - 72 - 67 - 68 276 -12 $65,580.00
4T Sung Hyun Park 70 - 69 - 69 - 68 276 -12 $65,580.00
4T Karine Icher 68 - 70 - 69 - 69 276 -12 $65,580.00
4T Cristie Kerr 66 - 69 - 71 - 70 276 -12 $65,580.00
4T Mi Jung Hur 71 - 67 - 66 - 72 276 -12 $65,580.00

Click here for full scores & prize money.

Round 3 - Mirim Lee leading at 13-under

March 25, 2017

Mirim Lee must be feeling a sense of déjá vu.

Saturday, Mirim Lee carded a five-under par, 67 to take the outright lead at the Kia Classic at 13-under par. Two years ago, Lee also held the 54-hole lead in Carlsbad with Cristie Kerr in an identical position, three-strokes back and chasing Lee heading into Sunday. The last time Lee held the third round lead was in Carlsbad in 2015, but is hoping the outcome will be different this time around.

“Course was perfect. Greens little bumpy so greens little tough. It's okay because I hit great,” Lee told the media. “I just hit straight. Then just thinking hit straight and then I make more birdies.”

Aviara Golf Club is a track that can be beautifully distracting, but requires players’ attention on each and every shot. That challenge isn’t dissimilar to what players face at a major championship. Lee has excelled when putting her game to the toughest test. Last season, Lee posted an eight-under par, 64 to lead the U.S. Women’s Open and followed that up just weeks later with a 10-under par, 62 to lead the RICOH Women’s British Open. Lee is a two-time winner on Tour who captured both her titles in her rookie season in 2014.

Mi Jung Hur is solo second at 12-under par after a six-under par, 66. She drained a putt more than 65 feet for birdie at the last to pull within one of Lee. The two will be paired together in the final group on Sunday.

“I think that's the longest putt I've ever made in my life,” Hur told the media. ”Definitely feel very, very good right now because I finish with a birdie on the last. Was huge, long putt. I'm getting excited to playing tomorrow.”

Kerr led the first two days but quickly began to struggle on Saturday, making bogey at the third. Her rollercoaster day continued en route to a one-under par, 71 that left her three-back of the lead at 10-under par.

“Honestly didn't hit it that great today, I scrambled a lot,” Ker told the media. “That last pin was really difficult. It was kind of hard to judge the speed through the shadows, and I didn't do a very good job. 3-putted the last hole.”

Kerr added that her coach arrived Saturday and she planned to put in some work with him in hopes of capitalizing on more birdie opportunities on Sunday.

First round co-leader In Gee Chun clawed her way back up the leaderboard after a 73 on Friday. The world No. 3 got off to a slow start with a bogey at her third hole of the day, but she bounced back with six birdies to close with a five-under par, 67. Chun sits at 10-under par, three-back of Lee.

“Stay patient, because first back nine was not really good, so I miss some birdie opportunities. I try staying patient,” Chun said about her mindset on Saturday. “I made really good back nine.”

The two-time major champion is in the hunt for her first non-major victory on Tour.

Four-time Symetra Tour winner Jackie Stoelting jumped into a share of the lead after making the turn with back-to-back birdies. But as the TV cameras arrived, so did the nerves and her momentum came to halt. At the par four, 13th Stoelting’s approach to an elevated green came up short, caught the slope and rolled back into the fairway. She struggled to get up and down and made double bogey to fall three-strokes back of the lead.

“I did get a little nervous today,” Stoelting told the media. “It brought back a lot memories back to when I was on Big Break on Golf Channel. That really helped me settle down a little bit more, knowing that I've dealt with cameras before. It's definitely different out here. But I enjoy that feeling.”

The Big Break champ missed a short par save at the last and settled for a two-under par, 70 to sit five-strokes back of the lead at eight-under par. This week is Stoelting’s first made cut in four starts this season.

“I feel great. I mean, I had a few hiccups at the end, but this is what I've been working on, being in this position,” Stoelting said. “Going from several missed cuts to finally being here feels really great. I feel very positive about my game.”

Stoelting earned her card for 2017 with a third place finish on the Symetra Tour's Volvik Race for the Card money list. She previously held her card on the LPGA Tour in 2015 but lost it last season.

Stoelting making her presence known

Jackie Stoelting may not be the most familiar name on the Kia Classic leader board, but she is certainly one of the most inspirational. The Florida native finally earned full LPGA Tour status in 2015 after spending five seasons on the Symetra Tour. But 2015 was not the year she hoped for, as she made only two cuts in 18 events and was forced to return to the Symetra Tour.

“Two years ago I was so close and got my card and then I felt like a failure in a way,” said Stoelting, who made only the fourth cut of her LPGA Tour career this week. “I really didn't want to end my career like that. I wanted to give myself one more opportunity out here.”

The 2016 Symetra season was a highlight for Stoelting, who captured two victories and finished third on the Volvik Race for the Card money list to regain her LPGA Tour status. Now at age 30 and with her struggles hopefully behind her, she has a renewed sense of spirit and motivation.

“I went to Symetra Tour, and from (2015) until now I've won four times,” said Stoelting, who is tied for eighth and will tee off with Mo Martin on Sunday at 12:50 p.m. “That was the biggest difference. A lot of people say, you're 30, you're 30. But the golf ball has no clue how old I am.”

Ryu nearly ties tournament record, but happy with 65

So Yeon Ryu took Aviara Golf Club by storm early on Saturday, converting seven birdies over her first 10 holes. At that point, it looked like the tournament record of 8-under 64 might be in play. But Ryu cruised into the clubhouse with eight consecutive pars and finished one shy of joining Dori Carter, Morgan Pressel, Se Ri Pak and Ilhee Lee in the record books.

“After you made six birdies on the front nine, absolutely your expectation level is going up,” said Ryu, who finished tied for eighth and will join Karine Icher off the first tee at 1:10 p.m. on Sunday. “Every time when I have this situation I always talk myself. You know, like even though I shot 6-under (on the) front nine, nothing is different. You don't really try to do something special.”

Veterans, not young guns, at the top

Much has been made the youth movement taking the LPGA Tour by storm. That’s not the case this week at the Kia Classic.

The average age of the top 12 players is just over 29 years of age. Cristie Kerr (39) and Karine Icher (38) are the oldest players in that group, with Sung Hyun Park (23) and In Gee Chun (22) the youngest.

On the season, the average winning age is nearly 28 years old through last week’s Bank of Hope Founders Cup (five events). Through that same event in 2015 (six events), the average winning age was 22.1.

Quick hits

• Mirim Lee has two career LPGA Tour victories – the 2014 Meijer LPGA Classic Presented by Kraft and the 2014 Reignwood LPGA Classic.
• This is just the second time that Mirim Lee has held the 54-hole lead, with the only other occurrence coming at the 2015 Kia Classic.
• Mi Jung Hur has two career LPGA Tour victories – the 2009 Safeway Classic and the 2014 Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic.
• Mi Jung Hur capped her day with a 67-foot birdie on the 18th hole, which she says is the longest putt she has ever made.
• Should Cristie Kerr emerge victorious on Sunday, she would become the first multiple winner in Kia Classic history. She first took the title in 2015, when she made up a three-stroke deficit after 54 holes and captured a two-stroke victory over Mirim Lee.
• Jackie Stoelting has earned just $10,398 in her LPGA career. She will at least double that if she finishes 37th or better.

Quotable

“When I am playing my best, I don't know what my score is. I don't know what's happening. I am just kind of in my own little world with my caddie and we're just having a good time.” - Brittany Lincicome, on her mentality during today’s 5-under 67

Round 2 - Kerr edges ahead in California

March 24, 2017

Cristie Kerr has moved into solo lead in Carlsbad. Her lead grew to three strokes suring the day but she made two bogeys in her last four holes for a 69 finish, one strokes ahead of Mo Martin and Mirim Lee. Kerr has won 18 times on Tour and won the Kia Classic in 2015.

Lydia Ko and Brooke Henderson have both failed to make the cut.

Ko misses second cut of professional career

It’s usually a safe bet to see Lydia Ko’s name somewhere on the leader board on Saturday and Sunday. This week, however, that won’t be the case.

For just the second time in her LPGA professional career, which spans 91 tournaments, the world’s No. 1 player missed the 36-hole cut and will have the weekend off.

“I tried my best out there to hopefully put myself in better position going forward, but I can't do anything about it,” said a rueful Ko, whose 2-over 74 on Thursday put her in an early hole.

Sitting at 2 under on the day through 15 holes, it looked like Ko was well on her way to making the cut. But her putter let her down over the last three holes, as she missed short putts at 16 and 17 and three-putted for bogey at No. 18 to finish at even-par 72

“Ball striking wasn't very good today,” said Ko, whose only other missed cut came at the 2015 KMPG Women’s PGA Championship. “I'm hitting my drives really well, but like the birdie opportunities I had I was missing quite a few of them. I was putting so much better today until the last few holes.”

Can Ariya catch Lydia for no.1?

Ariya Jutanugarn has spent 34 consecutive weeks ranked as the No. 2 player in the world. Since March 2016, she has not finished outside of the top 60 in an event and has recorded five wins. Seven months ago, the average points differential between No. 1 Lydia Ko and No. 2 Jutanugarn was 6.57 points. This week, the difference is just 1.5 average points.

Even though Ko missed the cut at the Kia Classic, Jutanugarn can only further close the gap this week. However, a Jutanugarn victory next week at the ANA Inspiration, the season’s first major, would vault her into the top spot.

Quick hits

• Mirim Lee has two career LPGA Tour victories – the 2014 Meijer LPGA Classic Presented by Kraft and the 2014 Reignwood LPGA Classic.
• Of the four players tied for fourth, two have LPGA Tour victories and two are looking for their first win:
• Mi Jung Hur has two career LPGA Tour victories – the 2009 Safeway Classic and the 2014 Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic.
• Austin Ernst is hoping to earn her second LPGA Tour victory, joining her win at the 2014 Portland Classic Presented by Cambia Health Solutions.
• Jackie Stoelting’s best career finish is a tie for 52nd at the 2015 Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic.
• Karine Icher has not yet won on the LPGA Tour, though she has finished second three times. Her most recent runner-up finish came at the 2016 Citibanamex Lorena Ochoa Invitational presented by Aeromexico and Delta.
• Ernst currently holds the eighth and final automatic qualifying spot in the 2017 Solheim Cup Team USA points standings. The top eight players as of the completion of the Ricoh Women’s British Open (which ends Aug. 6) are automatic team selections.
• Stoelting, who spent 2016 on the Symetra Tour, made her first LPGA Tour cut since the 2015 Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic. Since her rookie season of 2014, she has made only four cuts, including this week.
• Brooke Henderson missed her first cut of 2017, and her first since June 2016 at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G.
• Rookie Peiyun Chien shot Friday’s low round of 66, which is also her lowest round of 2017. Her previous best round came last week at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, where she shot a 68 in the second round.

Quotable

“I would be happy both ways, yes. Leave it that. We won't talk about levels of happiness.” Mo Martin, on which she would prefer – earning her second career victory or seeing her alma mater UCLA win the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship

Round 1 - Chun Martin and Kerr take opening lead in Kia Classic

May 23, 2017

In Gee Chun, Mo Martin and Cristie Kerr have taken the opening lead at 6-under par at the Kia Classic. Moriya Jutanugarn, Marissa Steen, Hyo Joo Kim, Alison Lee, Karine Icher and Mirim Lee lie two strokes back at 4-under par.

Martin enjoys California home game

Mo Martin walked out of the scoring area and went directly to the crowdline, where she spent nearly 10 minutes signing autographs for friends and strangers alike. The affable Martin, who grew up in the Los Angeles suburbs, had several friendly faces among the fans who celebrated her first-round 66.

“I love everything about this week,” said Martin, who grew up in Pasadena, but now makes her home in Florida. “It's pretty much home territory. I was born and raised in L.A., but just a chance for all my family and friends to be out.”

Martin returned a clean scorecard with six birdies to no bogeys on a picture-perfect Southern California Thursday morning. While the course received substantial rain in recent days, Martin feels that it just set up the golf course for perfect, yet challenging, playing conditions.

“Coming out here on Monday, it was like the grass is healthy and lush, which makes the fairways and the greens super nice,” said Martin. “It also lets the rough be a little bit thicker than we've seen it before. I like it. I love it when it's playing tough.”

Next on Martin’s to-do list? Tomorrow’s 1:06 p.m. tee time – and her beloved UCLA Bruins’ Sweet 16 match-up with the University of Kentucky in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.

“I’ll have to catch the end of it,” said Martin, who graduated from UCLA in 2005 with a degree in psychology. “But I’ll be with them in spirit.”

Kerr excels by keeping it simple

Golf is often a cerebral game – one that can cause a player to think too hard about the course in front of her. That wasn’t the case today for Cristie Kerr, who went back to the basics en route to her first-round 66.

“I had some long talks with my coach, and I just needed to simplify my game,” said Kerr, who won the 2015 Kia Classic and is hoping to become the first multiple winner in tournament history. “I needed to simplify my swing feel and not overcomplicate things. So kind of went back to some simple feels and played awesome today.”

Kerr got off to a frustrating start, when her 2-footer for par at the second hole made a full 360 around the hole and spun out. But a birdie at the ensuing third opened the floodgates, as Kerr converted six more birdies and walked off Aviara with confidence heading into Friday’s second round.

“I don't think I have to adjust much,” said Kerr. “It's only the first day. Just day by day.”

Chun needs tough save on 18 to salvage 66

In Gee Chun was seemingly on fire on her inward nine, reeling off birdies at holes 12, 13, 15, 16 and 17 to pull into a tie for the lead. But the par-4 18th was almost her downfall. After nearly finding the water on her tee shot, Chun’s second from just inside the hazard line landed 60 feet from the hole. She put too much speed on her birdie attempt, sending it 15 feet past, but firmly knocked in the comebacker to keep her name atop the leader board.

“This course is really good,” said Chun, who tied for 50th at the 2015 Kia Classic, her only other appearance in the tournament. “I like (it) here. Course is really pretty and challenging, so I'm very happy to be back here.”

Quick hits

• Azahara Munoz made her first career hole-in-one in competition today on No. 3, knocking it in with an 8-iron from 128 yards.
• Moriya Jutanugarn also made a hole-in-one, hers coming with a 6-iron from 162 yards on No. 11.
• Mo Martin’s one LPGA Tour victory came at the 2014 Ricoh Women’s British Open Championship, where she made an eagle on the 72nd hole to win by one stroke.
• Mo Martin has led the LPGA Tour in driving accuracy for the last three seasons (2014, 2015, 2016), averaging 87%. On Thursday, she hit 13 of 14 fairways, and all 18 greens in regulation.
• Cristie Kerr has 18 career LPGA Tour victories, most recently at the 2015 CME Group Tour Championship.
• In Gee Chun has two career LPGA Tour victories, with both coming at major tournaments. She won the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open, and followed it up the next year with a victory at the 2016 Evian Championship.
• Charley Hull withdrew prior to her round, citing a wrist injury. Ashleigh Buhai, the first alternate, was added to the field roughly one hour ahead of her 12:55 p.m. tee time and finished at 1-over 73.

Quotable

“My caddie was actually telling me that I should keep it. I'm like, No, I'll give it away to a little girl. You never know. She could be out here with us in a few years.” Azahara Munoz, on giving away the ball she used to make her first hole-in-one in competition

“No matter if you're hitting it good or not, if you can putt and you can make up and down when you're missing the greens, that makes a huge difference. So I think I'll definitely be seen on the putting green quite a bit this afternoon.” Lydia Ko, on her short-game struggles during her first-round 74 (+2)

Scores

Pos. Player Scores Total To Par Prize Money
1 Mirim Lee 68 - 68 - 67 - 65 268 -20 $270,000.00
2T So Yeon Ryu 73 - 70 - 65 - 66 274 -14 $144,126.00
2T Austin Ernst 70 - 68 - 69 - 67 274 -14 $144,126.00
4T Gerina Piller 69 - 72 - 67 - 68 276 -12 $65,580.00
4T Sung Hyun Park 70 - 69 - 69 - 68 276 -12 $65,580.00
4T Karine Icher 68 - 70 - 69 - 69 276 -12 $65,580.00
4T Cristie Kerr 66 - 69 - 71 - 70 276 -12 $65,580.00
4T Mi Jung Hur 71 - 67 - 66 - 72 276 -12 $65,580.00
9 Shanshan Feng 70 - 72 - 70 - 65 277 -11 $40,702.00
10 In Gee Chun 66 - 73 - 67 - 72 278 -10 $37,043.00
11T Lizette Salas 70 - 73 - 71 - 65 279 -9 $28,550.00
11T Caroline Hedwall 71 - 70 - 70 - 68 279 -9 $28,550.00
11T Peiyun Chien 73 - 66 - 72 - 68 279 -9 $28,550.00
11T Lexi Thompson 70 - 69 - 72 - 68 279 -9 $28,550.00
11T Moriya Jutanugarn 68 - 71 - 70 - 70 279 -9 $28,550.00
11T Mo Martin 66 - 70 - 72 - 71 279 -9 $28,550.00
11T Brittany Lincicome 69 - 71 - 67 - 72 279 -9 $28,550.00
18T Angela Stanford 71 - 71 - 69 - 69 280 -8 $21,830.00
18T Caroline Masson 69 - 71 - 70 - 70 280 -8 $21,830.00
18T Jackie Stoelting 69 - 69 - 70 - 72 280 -8 $21,830.00
21T Pornanong Phatlum 70 - 75 - 71 - 65 281 -7 $17,214.00
21T Beatriz Recari 73 - 70 - 71 - 67 281 -7 $17,214.00
21T Sarah Jane Smith 71 - 69 - 73 - 68 281 -7 $17,214.00
21T Jodi Ewart Shadoff 72 - 67 - 74 - 68 281 -7 $17,214.00
21T Carlota Ciganda 71 - 73 - 66 - 71 281 -7 $17,214.00
21T Inbee Park 70 - 74 - 66 - 71 281 -7 $17,214.00
21T Sei Young Kim 71 - 70 - 69 - 71 281 -7 $17,214.00
21T Anna Nordqvist 69 - 72 - 69 - 71 281 -7 $17,214.00
21T Michelle Wie 72 - 70 - 67 - 72 281 -7 $17,214.00
21T Ariya Jutanugarn 74 - 67 - 68 - 72 281 -7 $17,214.00
31T Shi Hyun Ahn 70 - 75 - 74 - 63 282 -6 $12,988.00
31T Jeong Eun Lee 71 - 72 - 68 - 71 282 -6 $12,988.00
31T Ryann O'Toole 71 - 72 - 68 - 71 282 -6 $12,988.00
31T Hyo Joo Kim 68 - 75 - 68 - 71 282 -6 $12,988.00
35T Suzann Pettersen 70 - 72 - 73 - 68 283 -5 $10,176.00
35T Haru Nomura 72 - 69 - 73 - 69 283 -5 $10,176.00
35T Mika Miyazato 73 - 71 - 69 - 70 283 -5 $10,176.00
35T Jing Yan 70 - 74 - 69 - 70 283 -5 $10,176.00
35T Azahara Munoz 69 - 75 - 69 - 70 283 -5 $10,176.00
35T Kim Kaufman 74 - 68 - 71 - 70 283 -5 $10,176.00
35T Su Oh 72 - 71 - 69 - 71 283 -5 $10,176.00
35T Catriona Matthew 70 - 72 - 70 - 71 283 -5 $10,176.00
43T Alison Lee 68 - 73 - 70 - 73 284 -4 $8,232.00
43T Madelene Sagstrom 72 - 70 - 68 - 74 284 -4 $8,232.00
45T Jacqui Concolino 72 - 73 - 71 - 69 285 -3 $7,363.00
45T Sun Young Yoo 74 - 71 - 70 - 70 285 -3 $7,363.00
45T Stacy Lewis 73 - 70 - 71 - 71 285 -3 $7,363.00
45T Jaye Marie Green 70 - 74 - 69 - 72 285 -3 $7,363.00
49T Jennifer Ha 74 - 67 - 76 - 69 286 -2 $5,956.00
49T Nelly Korda 73 - 71 - 72 - 70 286 -2 $5,956.00
49T Beth Allen 70 - 71 - 75 - 70 286 -2 $5,956.00
49T Ilhee Lee 74 - 70 - 71 - 71 286 -2 $5,956.00
49T Katie Burnett 69 - 75 - 71 - 71 286 -2 $5,956.00
49T Marissa Steen 68 - 74 - 73 - 71 286 -2 $5,956.00
49T Kelly Shon 70 - 74 - 69 - 73 286 -2 $5,956.00
49T Jenny Shin 72 - 69 - 72 - 73 286 -2 $5,956.00
57T Vicky Hurst 71 - 73 - 70 - 73 287 -1 $5,031.00
57T Dani Holmqvist 70 - 74 - 69 - 74 287 -1 $5,031.00
59T Candie Kung 70 - 75 - 73 - 70 288 E $4,604.00
59T Brittany Lang 72 - 70 - 74 - 72 288 E $4,604.00
59T Nasa Hataoka 70 - 72 - 68 - 78 288 E $4,604.00
62T Pernilla Lindberg 71 - 73 - 72 - 73 289 1 $4,344.00
62T Chella Choi 71 - 69 - 76 - 73 289 1 $4,344.00
64T Paula Creamer 71 - 74 - 73 - 72 290 2 $4,070.00
64T Ha Na Jang 72 - 72 - 74 - 72 290 2 $4,070.00
64T Ai Miyazato 72 - 69 - 76 - 73 290 2 $4,070.00
64T Min Seo Kwak 74 - 70 - 72 - 74 290 2 $4,070.00
68T Juli Inkster 70 - 72 - 79 - 70 291 3 $3,750.00
68T Kris Tamulis 74 - 70 - 74 - 73 291 3 $3,750.00
68T Thidapa Suwannapura 70 - 74 - 73 - 74 291 3 $3,750.00
71 Maria Parra 71 - 72 - 77 - 76 296 8 $3,614.00
CUT Cydney Clanton 76 - 70 146 2 $0.00
CUT Minjee Lee 76 - 70 146 2 $0.00
CUT Lydia Ko 74 - 72 146 2 $0.00
CUT Ally McDonald 74 - 72 146 2 $0.00
CUT Becky Morgan 74 - 72 146 2 $0.00
CUT Ayako Uehara 74 - 72 146 2 $0.00
CUT Karen Chung 73 - 73 146 2 $0.00
CUT Lee Lopez 73 - 73 146 2 $0.00
CUT Alena Sharp 72 - 74 146 2 $0.00
CUT Joanna Klatten 70 - 76 146 2 $0.00
CUT Jessica Korda 69 - 77 146 2 $0.00
CUT Hee Young Park 75 - 72 147 3 $0.00
CUT Yani Tseng 75 - 72 147 3 $0.00
CUT Amy Yang 75 - 72 147 3 $0.00
CUT Dana Finkelstein 74 - 73 147 3 $0.00
CUT Wei-Ling Hsu 74 - 73 147 3 $0.00
CUT Tiffany Joh 74 - 73 147 3 $0.00
CUT In-Kyung Kim 74 - 73 147 3 $0.00
CUT Jennifer Song 74 - 73 147 3 $0.00
CUT Simin Feng 73 - 74 147 3 $0.00
CUT Olafia Kristinsdottir 73 - 74 147 3 $0.00
CUT Karrie Webb 73 - 74 147 3 $0.00
CUT Christina Kim 71 - 76 147 3 $0.00
CUT Mi Hyang Lee 75 - 73 148 4 $0.00
CUT Wichanee Meechai 74 - 74 148 4 $0.00
CUT Nontaya Srisawang 74 - 74 148 4 $0.00
CUT Sandra Gal 73 - 75 148 4 $0.00
CUT Angel Yin 78 - 71 149 5 $0.00
CUT Jane Park 76 - 73 149 5 $0.00
CUT Brittany Altomare 75 - 74 149 5 $0.00
CUT Laura Davies 75 - 74 149 5 $0.00
CUT Brooke M. Henderson 75 - 74 149 5 $0.00
CUT Morgan Pressel 75 - 74 149 5 $0.00
CUT Amy Anderson 74 - 75 149 5 $0.00
CUT Mariajo Uribe 74 - 75 149 5 $0.00
CUT Lee-Anne Pace 73 - 76 149 5 $0.00
CUT Laetitia Beck 72 - 77 149 5 $0.00
CUT Lindy Duncan 77 - 73 150 6 $0.00
CUT Maude-Aimee Leblanc 76 - 74 150 6 $0.00
CUT Regan De Guzman 75 - 75 150 6 $0.00
CUT Laura Gonzalez Escallon 74 - 76 150 6 $0.00
CUT Ashleigh Buhai 73 - 77 150 6 $0.00
CUT Marina Alex 72 - 78 150 6 $0.00
CUT Belen Mozo 78 - 73 151 7 $0.00
CUT Min Lee 77 - 74 151 7 $0.00
CUT Pavarisa Yoktuan 76 - 75 151 7 $0.00
CUT Dori Carter 75 - 76 151 7 $0.00
CUT Katherine Perry 75 - 76 151 7 $0.00
CUT Mel Reid 74 - 77 151 7 $0.00
CUT Kelly Tan 74 - 77 151 7 $0.00
CUT Sakura Yokomine 73 - 78 151 7 $0.00
CUT P.K. Kongkraphan 78 - 74 152 8 $0.00
CUT Danielle Kang 75 - 77 152 8 $0.00
CUT Paula Reto 74 - 78 152 8 $0.00
CUT Therese O'Hara 73 - 79 152 8 $0.00
CUT Megan Khang 81 - 72 153 9 $0.00
CUT Eun-Hee Ji 80 - 73 153 9 $0.00
CUT Julie Yang 80 - 73 153 9 $0.00
CUT Annie Park 77 - 76 153 9 $0.00
CUT Cheyenne Woods 76 - 78 154 10 $0.00
CUT Amelia Lewis 80 - 75 155 11 $0.00
CUT Xiyu Lin 79 - 76 155 11 $0.00
CUT Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong 78 - 77 155 11 $0.00
CUT Na Yeon Choi 75 - 80 155 11 $0.00
CUT Margarita Ramos 75 - 80 155 11 $0.00
CUT Gaby Lopez 75 - 81 156 12 $0.00
CUT Eun Jeong Seong 77 - 80 157 13 $0.00
CUT Q Baek 80 - 78 158 14 $0.00
CUT Savannah Vilaubi 78 - 80 158 14 $0.00
CUT Perrine Delacour 77 - 82 159 15 $0.00
CUT Ssu-Chia Cheng 83 - 79 162 18 $0.00
WDC Celine Herbin 79 79 7 $0.00
WDC Sadena Parks 87 87 15 $0.00

Preview


Joh happy to be home and healthy

The Kia Classic always feels like a home game for Tiffany Joh, who grew up in San Diego and loves spending her free time surfing at Terra Mar, just one exit away from Aviara Golf Club.

“I snuck in a surf session yesterday,” said Joh with a smile. “I don't know if people appreciated me showing up to the course all salty, but I showered.”

But 2017 feels particularly special to the bubbly Joh, who in January was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma on her scalp. After receiving surgical treatment, she is cancer-free, and sees her life and her game in a new perspective.

“I think over the last few months I've really found a value in the relationships that I've had,” said Joh, a 2009 graduate of UCLA. “It's interesting, even like those long waits and practice rounds we complain about as players, it's such a great opportunity to build all these relationships. Like I've made so many great friendships out here.

And I think at a certain point when I was looking back on what the highlights of my life were, they weren't getting my card or first professional win. They were like the little moments in between where I was able to build all these friendships.”

Quick hits

Ariya Jutanugarn has spent 34 consecutive weeks ranked as the No. 2 player in the world. Since March 2016, she has not finished outside of the top 60 in an event and has recorded five wins. Seven months ago, the average points differential between No. 1 Lydia Ko and No. 2 Jutanugarn was 6.57 points. This week, the difference is now 1.5 average points.

Following her T19 performance at last week’s Bank of Hope Founders Cup, Nelly Korda moved into the top 200 players in the world and is the 34th-ranked American. Since the start of the 2016 season, she has played in a total of 23 events on the Symetra and LPGA Tours, and has eight top-10 finishes.

Lydia Ko and Lizette Salas both returned four bogey-free rounds at last week’s Bank of Hope Founders Cup. Since 2011, only two other players have achieved that feat – Inbee Park (2015 HSBC Women’s Champions, an event she won) and Stacy Lewis (2013 Safeway Classic presented by Coca-Cola).

Defending champion Lydia Ko is competing in her fifth LPGA Tour event of 2017. She has notched three top-10 finishes: T8 at the Honda LPGA Thailand, T9 at the HSBC Women’s Champions and T8 at the Bank of Hope Founder’s Cup.

With 899 points, Ariya Jutanugarn currently holds the lead in the Race to the CME Globe. Jutanugarn won the 2016 race, earning the title of Race to the CME Globe Champion and the $1 million bonus. Ha Na Jang, who won the 2017 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, is second with 784 points, followed by 2017 Bank of Hope Founders Cup winner Anna Nordqvist, with 629 points.

Stacy Lewis has finished in second place 12 times in 67 starts since her last win on the LPGA Tour at the 2014 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G. That brings her career total to 25 runner-up finishes.

Forty-five players at the Kia Classic are hoping to parlay success this week into a spot in next week’s ANA Inspiration field. A victory here at Aviara Golf Club for one of those players will secure her a starting time at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California.

Yani Tseng’s last LPGA Tour victory came at the 2012 Kia Classic, which was conducted at La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad. That was also the last time a player from Chinese Taipei won a LPGA title.

Numbers to know (through five LPGA events)

•5 – Number of eagles made by Brittany Lincicome, the most by a single player on Tour.
•43 – The points total for Ha Na Jang, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year standings. Ariya Jutanugarn and Inbee Park are tied for second with 36 points.
•100% - The percentage of times So Yeon Ryu has finished in the top 10 in her three 2017 events. She finished second at the Honda LPGA Thailand, followed by a tie for seventh at the HSBC Women’s Champions and a tie for fifth at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.
•119 - The points total for Sung Hyun Park, who leads the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year standings. Nelly Korda is in second with 107 points, followed by Laura Gonzalez Escallon with 53.
•195 – The combined number of birdies made by sisters Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn. The sisters sit No. 1 and No. 2 for most birdies in 2017, with Ariya making 96 and Moriya making 89.

Quotable

“San Diego, everything is perfect: golf course, weather. And then not really humidity, dry. I like the golf course. It's very narrow and rough (is) really quick and the putting green. Then really good practice area and really good persons, really kind persons.” - Ha Na Jang, who makes San Diego her home base during the LPGA season