For the ninth consecutive year, the LPGA will descend on Southern California in March for the Kia Classic. The week of March 19-25, 2018, the world’s best female golfers will take to Carlsbad’s Aviara Golf Club and compete for $1.8 million in prize money.
LPGA star Mirim Lee will look to defend her 2017 title, when she carded a 7-under 65 in Sunday’s final round en route to a runaway six-stroke win over So Yeon Ryu and Austin Ernst. Lee slept on the 54-hole lead at Aviara for the second time in three years, and after ultimately falling to Cristie Kerr in 2015, she was relieved to finally raise the tournament’s distinctive red glass trophy.
“It's been a long time to be winner of the tournament, so I was kind of nervous before I started,” said Lee, who set the tournament’s 72-hole record at 20-under 268. “But I try to focus and that gives me good result.”
While the 2018 field will not be finalized until next year, the Kia Classic historically boasts one of the strongest fields of the LPGA season. The 2017 field included the top 100 players off the 2016 LPGA Money List, including past Kia champions Sandra Gal (2011) Kerr (2015), Lydia Ko (2016), Anna Nordqvist (2014), Beatriz Recari (2013) and Yani Tseng (2012).
With its beautiful San Diego-area weather and world-class golf course, the Kia Classic is always one of the season’s most popular stops for the LPGA stars.
“I love everything about this week,” said California native Mo Martin. “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. Weather is perfect. I mean, the course in and of itself I love playing it. Love the setup. Keeps you on your toes all day. When you're not hitting shots you've got beautiful scenery, wildflowers. No complaints about the week. It's perfect.”
A variety of ticket options are available at http://www.kiaclassic.com/tickets. Juniors age 17 and under receive complimentary admission for the entire week, making the Kia Classic the ultimate family destination. Thursday, March 22, features a Women’s Leadership Day, while a junior clinic will be held on Saturday, March 24.