La Costa Resort and Spa provided a picturesque backdrop for Kia Classic media day in Carlsbad, Calif. on Friday. Defending champion Sandra Gal helped signal the tournament’s return to San Diego with Southern California native and U.S. Solheim Cup Team member Ryann O’Toole and Carlsbad native Jennifer Johnson. Michael Sprague, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Kia Motors America, discussed Kia’s ever-evolving relationship with the LPGA – from title partner of the Kia Classic, to Official Automotive Partner of the LPGA, to sponsor of the Kia Performance Awards, and announced that the winner of the 2012 Kia Classic will receive a Kia Optima Limited. The Kia Classic returns to La Costa Resort and Spa, March 19-25, with the top-10 LPGA players on the Rolex Rankings scheduled to play. The tournament will be played on the South Course at La Costa with a $1.7 million purse. Past winners of the event include Gal, who won at Pacific Palms in 2011 while La Costa underwent renovations, and Hee Kyung Seo, who won in 2010 on a sponsor’s exemption and went on to earn Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year honors in 2011, her first season as a member of the LPGA.
Topics: Kia Classic, Gal, Sandra, Otoole, Ryann, Johnson, Jennifer