With $50 million in renovations complete on the golf courses at La Costa Resort and Spa, the LPGA will be returning in March with its Kia Classic, which was played for the first time in 2010 at the Carlsbad facility.
The completly redone Champions Course (formerly the North Course at La Costa) and the Legends Course (the South Course previously, with four holes reconstructed) will be open to the public early next month. The Legends layout, host in the past to the PGA Tour's MONY Tournament of Champions and the Accenture Match Play Championship among other events, will serve as the host course for the Kia Classic, which will run March 22-25 and feature a 144-player field.
The tourney was held at Industry Hills in the City of Industry this year because of the work being done at La Costa. German-born Sandra Gal edged Jiyai Shin to earn her first LPGA victory. Hee Kyung Seo won the 2010 inaugural event at La Costa on a sponsor's exemption and this year is on pace to earn LPGA rookie of the year honors.
“We are excited about the return of the LPGA and the Kia Classic to begin a new chapter in La Costa’s legacy,” Paul McCormick, general manager at La Costa Resort and Spa, said in a statement released by the LPGA Monday. “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.”
Said tournament director Dennis Baggett: “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.”
Former phenom and two-time LPGA winner Michelle Wie signed on as Kia's official golf ambassador in 2010 and is expected to be in the field in March.