DAYTONA BEACH, Florida, October 24, 2011 – The LPGA announced today that the Kia Classic will return in 2012 to the renowned La Costa Resort and Spa in San Diego, Calif., where the inaugural event was held in 2010. The tournament, which will feature a 144-player field, will be played March 19-25, 2012.
“We are excited to return to the newly-renovated La Costa Resort and Spa for the third edition of the Kia Classic,” said Dennis Baggett, tournament director. “The Southern California region, and San Diego in particular, has been a longtime supporter of the LPGA Tour and we look forward to bringing the world’s best female golfers back next season.”
Due to a $50 million renovation project that has taken place at La Costa over the past year, the 2011 Kia Classic was moved to Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms in the City of Industry, Calif. The tournament returns in 2012 to a venue that has hosted numerous professional golf tournaments throughout the years.
La Costa Resort and Spa, home to one of golf’s iconic venues, has also renamed its two 18-hole layouts - the Champions Course and Legends Course. The new Champions Course, the former North Course, is undergoing a complete restoration project and is scheduled to reopen in November. It is now paired with the Legends Course, formerly the South Course, on which four holes have been renovated, as La Costa enhances its reputation as a world-class golf destination. The 2012 Kia Classic will be played exclusively on the Legends Course.
“We are excited about the return of the LPGA and the Kia Classic to begin a new chapter in La Costa’s legacy,” said Paul McCormick, general manager at La Costa Resort and Spa. “La Costa has been synonymous with the top echelon of golf for more than 40 years, hosting 38 professional golf events. It is important that we keep its championship spirit alive.”
Current LPGA Tour rookie Hee Kyung Seo won the inaugural Kia Classic at La Costa as a sponsor exemption in 2010. Seo earned membership on the LPGA Tour for the 2011 season with her victory and she currently leads the race for the 2011 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year. In 2011, the Kia Classic was the stage for another breakout win as Germany’s Sandra Gal became a Rolex-First Time Winner with her thrilling one-shot victory over eight-time LPGA Tour winner Jiyai Shin at Industry Hills Golf Club.
Following the success of the first-ever Kia Classic in 2010, Kia Motors America (KMA) increased its commitment to women’s golf with sponsorship extensions that run through 2012. Kia’s Southern California-based LPGA tournament complements its expanding portfolio of sports marketing activities in the U.S., including its partnership with two-time LPGA winner Michelle Wie, who is the brand’s official golf ambassador. Kia is also the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA (National Basketball Association), and its second-year motorsports program sits atop the Driver and Team standings in the Street Tuner class of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series.
“Kia has become one of the fastest-growing car companies in the U.S., and we understand the importance of aligning our brand with organizations like the LPGA that share our youthful spirit and are committed to constant improvement, which has been instrumental to Kia’s unprecedented growth over the past two years,” said Michael Sprague, vice president of marketing & communications, KMA. “Southern California golf fans are passionate about the game, as evidenced by the outstanding attendance and support demonstrated at the first two Kia Classic events and we are looking forward to working with the LPGA and La Costa Resort and Spa to continue expanding the tournament’s tradition and prestige.”
Topics: Press Release