Tseng withdraws after oversleeping
CARLSBAD, Calif. -- Defending champion and formerly top-ranked Yani Tseng was dropped from the Kia Classic field after missing her 9:10 a.m. pro-am tee time Wednesday.
"I'm embarrassed to admit that I wasn't feeling well last night and accidentally overslept and missed my tee time for the pro-am this morning," Tseng said in a statement released by the tour. "I was extremely excited to compete this week to defend my title at the Kia Classic and to try to regain the No. 1 spot. This was an unfortunate mistake and I want to apologize to Kia, my sponsors and all of the fans."
On Sunday, Stacy Lewis won the LPGA Founders Cup in Phoenix to end Tseng's 109-week run at No. 1.
Tseng's coach, Gary Gilchrist, expressed astonishment that his player's narrow failure to show up for her tee time forced her to withdraw from the tourney.
"She was two minutes late for her tee time," Gilchrist told ESPNChicago.com's Melissa Isaacson. "She drove to the wrong tee. If I was a sponsor and I had the No. 2 player in the world in the field, I'd go absolutely crazy.
"Fine her five grand or 10 grand. It's not intentional. She could have played the Pro-Am. She could have played in the afternoon. I don't support the whole thing. I thought they changed the rule actually," he added.
Tseng is winless in 23 events since her Kia Classic victory last year. The 15-time LPGA Tour winner tied for 59th last week in Phoenix. She opened the season with a second-place finish in the Women's Australian Open, tied for third in the LPGA Thailand and completed the Asian swing with a tie for 28th in Singapore in the HSBC Women's Champions.
The 24-year-old Taiwanese star will return to play April 4-7 in the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first major championship of the year, at Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage.
Lewis has won the past two events.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.