The $1.7 million Kia Classic women’s golf tournament begins Thursday at the Park Hyatt Aviara Golf Club, with fans asked to wear pink in support of LPGA player Lisa Ferrero, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in January.

Friday is Military Appreciation Day, which will include a color guard presentation with local military representatives.

Saturday is Family Day with activities including a scavenger hunt, autograph sessions and a junior clinic featuring LPGA players. Registration is required for the clinic and can be made on the tournament’s website,

The expected field of 144 players includes 49 of the top 50 players in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.

There are three players with San Diego County ties in the field, Rancho Santa Fe resident I.K. Kim, who lost in to a two-hole sudden-death playoff to Beatriz Recari in last year’s tournament. Tiffany Joh, an alumna of Rancho Bernardo High School, and Carlsbad resident Jennifer Johnson.

The Kia Classic is the final tournament to decide the field for the inaugural International Crown, a global match play competition featuring teams from eight nations, that will be played July 24-27 at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md.

Active military members with valid identification and their families will receive free admission throughout the tournament. Children 17 and under accompanied by adults will also receive free admission.

The tournament concludes Sunday. The winner will receive $255,000 and a 2015 Kia K900, the automaker’s first luxury sedan.

— City News Service

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.