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LPGA, Kia prepare for upcoming Kia Classic

The top ten LPGA players will compete for a $1.7 million purse and a 2012 Kia Optima Limited.

by Kristina WongPublished: March 06, 2012 07:45 AM

Irvine-based Kia Motors America, the Official Automaker of the LPGA, (Ladies Professional Golf Association) is preparing for its third annual Kia Classic golf tournament later this month. The top ten LPGA players will be competing for a $1.7 million purse.  The winner will also receive a first-place check for $225,000 and a 2012 Kia Optima Limited, one of the first of these mid-size sedans to be manufactured.  

“Kia is one of the fastest growing auto brands in the U.S., and sports marketing initiatives such as our involvement with the LPGA have significantly raised awareness and consideration for the brand and our vehicles,” said Michael Sprague, Kia Motor America’s vice president of marketing and communications. “We are pleased to offer an enhanced prize package for the winner of this year’s Kia Classic.  The Optima Limited is Kia’s most refined and premium product offering to date, and we are excited to showcase the vehicle to golf fans at the Kia Classic and reward some of the tour’s best players for their outstanding performances.”

Among those who helped kick off the 2012 Kia Classic event were 2011 Kia Classic champ Sandra Gal (who earned her first LPGA victory at the Kia Classic), and U.S. Solheim Cup Team member Ryann O’Toole and Jennifer Johnson.

Not only will the 2012 Kia Classic winner receive a Kia Optima Limited, but those LPGA players presented with the Kia Performance Awards will find themselves with a new vehicle as well. These awards include the Kia Power Drive, awarded for the longest average driving distance; the Kia Drive to the Top, recognizing the player with the most Top 10 finishes; the Kia Most Compelling Performance, distinguishing the player with outstanding performances throughout the year, as voted on by fans in an online poll; and the Kia Community Assist, which honors a player for her contributions to charitable or community organizations. The awards will be presented at the CME Group Titleholders event set for Nov. 15 to 18. That event, held at the TwinEagles Golf Club in Naples, features a $1.5 million purse and a $500,000 first-place check.

The third annual Kia Classic LPGA tournament takes place at the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad from March 19 to 25.  For more information, visit the tournament website.

Kia Motors America serves as the “Official Automaker of the LPGA,” as well as the “Official Tournament Vehicle” for eight LPGA events.

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