Sorenstam to skip local LPGA event

By Doug Gorman

When the LPGA gathers at Eagle's Landing Country Club next week for the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship, the tour's marquee player won't be in the lineup.

Annika Sorenstam has decided to take a break from her hectic schedule and will bypass the Southern Crescent event.

Sorenstam, who won 11 events and set 20 LPGA records a year ago, has been garnering publicity she prepares to play in next month's Colonial, one of the PGA's top non-major events.

The future LPGA Hall of Fame member has won once already this year and turned in top 10 finishes in each of her three starts.

Despite Sorenstam's absence, an impressive field has committed to play the three-round event, which officially gets underway next week.

Eight former Chick-fil-A champions will tee off to begin the first round, including Nancy Lopez, who also serves as the host for the tournament.

Lopez no longer plays a full schedule on the LPGA tour, but the Albany resident is still a fan favorite.

Joining Lopez at this year's event are former tournament champions Dottie Pepper, (1993), Val Skinner (1994), Laura Davies (1995), Barb Mucha (1996), Liselotte Neumann (1998), Rachel Teske (1999) Sophie Gustafson (2000) and defending champion Julie Inkster.

Sorenstam won the Chick-fil-A tournament in 2002.

Se Ri Pak, Karrie Webb and this year's Kraft Nabisco Champion Patricia Meunier-Lebouc headline this year's field.

Michelle Wie could have the biggest following on the Eagle's Landing golf course next week.

The 13-year-old amateur from Hawaii has a bright future in the game. Although she isn't even in high school yet, she is already proving she can hold her own with the members of the LPGA.

Known for her long drives off the tee some of Wie's shots have been measured at over 300 yards.

Last month, Wie held her own at the Kraft Nabisco before falling out of contention on the final day.