Tourney to expand to 72 holes

By Anthony Rhoads

The Chick-fil-A Charity Championship is going to become a 72-hole, four-round event beginning next year.

"We have been very pleased over the years at how our tournament has been received by the players and the fans," tournament director Torrey Gane said. "This is yet another step we are taking to further enhance the Chick-fil-A as one of the greatest golf tournaments in the world."

The tournament has featured one of the strongest fields in the LPGA. This year's entry list includes 47 out of the top 50 and 92 out of the top 100 players from the 2002 money list.

"I think this golf course and this tournament are well-run and the golf course is such a fun place to play," 2002 Chick-fil-A champion Juli Inkster said. "I just thin 72 holes is a true tournament test."

The tournament, hosted by Nancy Lopez, will be held April 26-May 2 at the Eagle's Landing Country Club.

"This event has enjoyed immense success as a three-day tournament and I am confident its popularity and quality will remain high in the future as a four-day event," LPGA commission Ty Votaw said.

Ochoa wins Nancy Lopez Award: Lorena Ochoa was announced Thursday as the winner of the Nancy Lopez Award, given to the world's most outstanding female amateur.

Ochoa, a native of Guadalajara, Mexico, enjoyed one of the most successful collegiate careers of all-time at the University of Arizona. She won 12 of 20 college tournaments and was named the NCAA player of the year in both of her two seasons.

Before turning professional last May, she competed in five LPGA events as an amateur.

"I am very proud to win this award for myself and my country," Ochoa said. "It is a very special honor to receive an award from Nancy Lopez because I have followed her footsteps since I was little. Nancy has always been very kind to me and helped me and encouraged me over the last few years."