Photo Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports.

LPGA: First round preview of the Kia Classic


The Kia Classic kicks off today with several must watch pairings.  In the morning wave, Paula Creamer, Michelle Wie, and Inbee Park tee off at 7:55 am PST on the tenth hole.

Creamer made a dramatic 75-foot eagle putt to win the HSBC Women’s Championship in early March.  It was her first win since the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open, and the tenth victory of her career.  During the pre-tournament press conference, Creamer said the players on Tour are giving her a hard time about the putt, “It’s funny, every time I walk down the putting green, they go, oh, the green’s not big enough for you.  And I’m like, oh, I have to hear that for the next two years.”

Rolex World No. 1 Inbee Park is off to a solid start this season with three top tens in three events.  She said she is striking the ball well, but would like to make a few more putts.

Michelle Wie is also off to a good start with four top fifteen finishes in four events.  There are a couple par-fives at Aviara that Wie will be able to reach in two because of her tremendous length.  If Wie takes advantage of the par-fives, then she will be in contention on Sunday.

More marquee pairings: Suzann Pettersen, Lizette Salas, and Lexi Thompson tee off at 8:05 am PST on the tenth hole.  Lydia Ko, Karrie Webb, and Azahara Munoz tee off at 12:40 pm PST on the first hole.  Defending champion Beatriz Recari, Sandra Gal, and Christie Kerr tee off at 12:50 pm PST on the first hole.

The players must stay below the hole at Aviara.  However, aggressive shots will be rewarded because of the undulations on the greens.  A “safe” shot may end up behind a knob, or before a tier, and the player will be in danger of three-putting.

TV: 6:30 pm – 9 pm EST on the Golf Channel.

Link to leaderboard.

Tags: Aviara Golf Club Inbee Park Kia Motors Lexi Thompson Lizette Salas LPGA Michelle Wie Paula Creamer San Diego Suzann Pettersen