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LPGA: Defending champ Tseng forced out of Kia Classic

The SportsXchange

Defending champion Yani Tseng was forced to withdraw from this week's Kia Classic after oversleeping and missing her tee time for Wednesday's pro-am.

"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. "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."

Tseng won last year's event at the Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, Calif. by six strokes. She was aiming to recapture the No. 1 spot in the Rolex World Rankings after American Stacy Lewis took over the top spot for the first time in her career with her second consecutive victory last week in Phoenix.

Tseng's pursuit will have to wait at least one more tournament, but she remains one of the most popular players on the LPGA Tour. She was one of at least 60 people Lewis said texted her to congratulate Lewis on taking over the No. 1 ranking.

"The coolest one I think is the one I got from Yani. I know she may have said that she wanted to lose that spot to kind of help her, but I know she didn't want to lose No. 1 and she was very just very nice to me and congratulations, you played awesome, and kind of added at the end that she was coming after me now and to watch out," Lewis said. "We kind of have a cool relationship built over the last few years and I think it's something that's going to continue."

Also hot on Lewis' heals is third-ranked Na Yeon Choi, who also had an opportunity to take over the No. 1 spot with a victory last week.

"I just know that I'm going to have fun," Lewis said of playing with the No. 1 ranking. "I know there's a lot of people that would love to be in my position right now and that's why I just want to have fun and enjoy it.

"I'm not going to say I want to be in this position for a certain number of weeks or years because you can't do that, there's too many other good players out here. So I'm going to just enjoy this position and keep trying to win golf tournaments."
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