Yani Tseng set to defend the Kia Classic

Yani Tseng

Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, Calif. is the backdrop this week for the fourth-annual Kia Classic, where 144 players will compete for a $1.7 million purse and a $255,000 first place check.

Yani Tseng hopes to defend her title this week after capturing her 15th LPGA victory last season when she trumped Sun Young Yoo by six-strokes. The Taiwanese star had a hot start to the 2013 season with two top-5 finishes in the first four events and is in search of capturing her 16th career victory and defending her third title of the year.

Stacy Lewis is in the field this week after capturing her seventh career victory at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup on Sunday. With her win, she unseats Yani Tseng from the Rolex Rankings No. 1 spot and takes her place as the No. 1 female golfer in the world. The 2012 Player of the Year comes off her second consecutive victory of the 2013 season with her first coming at the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore.

Others slated to be in the field this week include Ai Miyazato and Angela Stanford, each of whom finished in the top five last week,  and  hungry for a victory to kick-start their 2013 season. 

Miyazato jumps up to Rolex Rankings No. 7 after her finishing three-strokes off Lewis' pace to notch her second consecutive runner-up finish at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup last weekend. The Japan native is rolling off a two-victory season in 2012 where she captured her eighth and ninth career wins at the LPGA LOTTE Championship Presented by J Golf and the Walmart Northwest Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G.

Stanford tallied her first top-10 finish of the season last weekend.

Topics: Tournament Preview, Kia Classic

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