A sponsor exemption into this year’s Kia Classic will be awarded to the winner of the 2013 UC Irvine Invitational presented by Kia on Feb. 25-26 at Santa Ana Country Club. This is the only collegiate tournament in the country that will allow the winner to participate in an LPGA event.
The UC Irvine Invitational field will feature women’s teams from BYU, Gonzaga, Idaho, Long Beach State, Montana, North Dakota State, Northern Colorado, Portland State, Sacramento State, San Diego State, Santa Clara, UC Riverside and the host Anteaters.
“I want to thank Kia for giving the UC Irvine Invitational their exemption into the 2013 Kia Classic,” said Anteaters coach Julie Brooks. “As a coach I am always looking to take our program to the next level and this exemption is an opportunity to do that in a big way. A partnership with a company that shares similar values of excellence and education can help to grow the UC Irvine Invitational into one of the premier collegiate golf tournaments in the country.”
The UC Irvine Invitational is a 54-hole event, with 36 holes the first day and 18 the second. The event is free and open to the public.
“We are thrilled about the partnership with Kia, which is providing women’s golf student-athletes an extraordinary opportunity,” said UC Irvine athletic director Michael Izzi. “We appreciate Kia’s leadership and dedication to the student-athlete experience.”
The fourth-annual Kia Classic will be held March 18-24 at Aviara Golf Club at the Park Hyatt Resort in Carlsbad, which was named by Golf Digest and Golf Magazine as one of the best resort golf courses in the country. The event will feature a field of 144 of the top female golfers, including Natalie Gulbis, Paula Creamer, Se Ri Pak and defending champion Yani Tseng.
“At Kia Motors we are passionate about the game of golf and proud to support events throughout the Orange County community we call home, including the UC Irvine Invitational,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing and communications for Kia Motors America. “We look forward to hosting the winner of the UC Irvine Invitational at Aviara Golf Club, the new home of the Kia Classic.”