Ko looks to defend title at Kia Classic

(AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Lydia Ko, the world's top-ranked women's professional golfer, is set to defend her title as the LPGA Tour heads to Carlsbad, Calif., for the eighth edition of the Kia Classic.

A field of 144 players, including the top 18 in the Rolex Rankings, will contest the tour's sixth event of the season, which begins Thursday at the Aviara Golf Club just north of San Diego.

All of the winners from the 2016 official LPGA tournaments and each of the top 100 players on the 2016 LPGA Tour's money list will compete in this week's event. Highlighting the list along with Ko are reigning LPGA Tour Player of the Year Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand as well as American favorites Michelle Wie, Paula Creamer, Lexi Thompson and Stacy Lewis.

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Money Leaders: LPGA
Rank Player Earnings
1 Ariya Jutanugarn $349,569
2 Ha Na Jang $323,615
3 Anna Nordqvist $277,249
4 Inbee Park $277,079
5 Amy Yang $261,916
6 Brittany Lincicome $256,784
7 So Yeon Ryu $243,040
8 Stacy Lewis $234,794
9 Lexi Thompson $210,246
10 In Gee Chun $182,923
View Full Leaderboard