Kung could be golfer to beat this year

By Doug Gorman

If momentum plays a factor in winning a golf tournament the player to beat this week at the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship has to be 21-year-old Candie Kung.

The 21-year-old captured her first LPGA event Saturday, winning the three-round Takefuji Classic in Las Vegas.

The second-year tour player won the event despite her troubles on the 18th hole during each day of the tournament.

Kung finished the tournament at 12-under par.

On Sunday, Kung bogeyed the final hole, but held off a trio of golfers including defending tournament champion Annika Sorenstam, Soo-Yu King and Cristie Kerr, who each finished two back at 10-under par.

"This is great, that's all I can say about it," said Kung. "It's awesome."

Low scores: Annika Sorenstam leads the LPGA with the lowest scoring average per round (69.27). The tour's most high-profile player has decided not to play in this year's event. That should stop fans from watching some competitive golf with some low rounds turned in for good measure.

Patrica Meunier-Lebouc (69.69), Karrie Webb (69.67), Grace Park (69.69), Laurie Davies (69.80) and Se Ri Pak (69.92) have all committed to play in this week's event at Eagle's Landing and all are averaging rounds in the 60s.

In the money: Prize money for the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship has more than doubled since the inaugural event in 1992.

When Dottie Pepper won in 1992 and Trish Johnson on 1993 the entire purse for the event was only $600,000. Pepper and Johnson won $90,000 for their victories.

The tournament's total purse is now more than $1million. A year ago, Juli Inkster pocketed $187.500 for her win.

On the tube: All three rounds of this year's Chick-fil-A Charity Championship will be televised on national television. Friday's event will be shown on ESPN from 3-5 p.m.

The tournament switches to ESPN2 for Saturday and Sunday's rounds. Saturday's action will be broadcast from 2-4. Fans get an extra hour of golf on Sunday, with the event airing from 2:30-5:30 p.m.

Lay of the land: The Eagle's Landing Country Club is 6,187 yards with 72 the magic number for finishing even for a round.

Fan give away: Bobblehead dolls are all the rage when it comes to sports memorabilia. The LPGA has also jumped on the craze and at this week's tournament at Eagle's Landing Country Club the first 1,000 fans through the gate will receive a Juli Inkster bobblehead doll.