The Ladies Professional Golf Association’s four-day tournament began March 21 at Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad without one of its top players: defending champion Yani Tseng.
The 24-year-old Taiwan native has earned more than $9 million since turning pro in 2007, but she overslept and missed her chance to defend her title at the $1.7 million Kia Classic, held March 21–24.
Tseng was dropped from the tournament when she didn’t arrive on time for her 9:10 a.m. pro-am tee time on Wednesday, March 20. Tournament publicist Rick Schloss said Tseng didn’t show up until Wednesday afternoon.
The young player tweeted that afternoon at 2:22 p.m.: “I am really sad, I am going to miss this week, I didn't feel well last night and when I fell asleep, my alarm didn't go off.” A few more tweets followed, and she wrote that she was sorry to Kia, her sponsors, and fans, and that her cell phone (battery) had died. She also wrote that her caddy had tried to wake her.
Tseng then said online that she will work hard at preparing for next week’s Kraft Nabisco Championship and is going to buy a few alarm clocks.
LPGA Tour rules state that a player is withdrawn from the week’s tournament if she is late for her pro-am starting time and doesn’t arrive before the first pro-am team player in her group tees off on the second hole.
Schloss said that Meaghan Frencella, a New Yorker, took Tseng’s spot in the field.