Chick-fil-A tourney has history of drama

By Doug Gorman

It will take some doing for golfers to match the drama of last year's final round of the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship.

Se Ri Pak won the event, but not before battling Shani Waugh for four extra holes before winning for the first time on the Eagle's Landing course.

Both golfers fired tournament records, 16-under par through three-rounds of regulation play. It was the longest sudden-death playoff in the tournament's history.

For her effort, Pak collected $202,500, the largest prize money paid out to a winner in tournament history.

Repeat Performance: Although there has never been a repeat winner in the history of the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship, Sophie Gustafson has come the closest to winning the event more than once.

After finishing 10-under-par in 2000, Gustafson won for the first time on the LPGA tour.

She nearly repeated as a winner in 2001 before falling to Annika Sorenstam in a two-hole playoff.

Sorenstam, who skipped last year's event, is expected to play this year's event.

This will be Sorenstam's seventh visit to the Eagle's Landing Country Club. In addition to her win in 2001, she finished third in 1999.

What's in a name: Before hooking up with Chick-fil-A in 1995 for its long-term relationship, the LPGA tournament at Eagle's Landing went by two other names.

The inaugural event in 1992 was known as the Sega Women's Championship.

From 1993-1994, the tournament was known simply as the Atlanta Women's Championship.

She likes this course: Dottie Pepper, who has played nine tournaments at Eagle's Landing, has been a model of consistency during tournament play in the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship.

Pepper has turned in the event's most top-10 finishes with seven. Pepper, won the first tournament in 1992.

She also has 13 rounds in the 60s and 20 rounds under par.

Kelly Robins and Karrie Webb have six top-10 finishes each.

Sometimes it rains: The Chick-fil-A Charity Champiomship has twice ended after just two rounds because of rainy weather.

In 2002, Inkster was declared the winner after firing two rounds of 66.

Nancy Lopez, who now serves as host of the tournament, won her last tour event in 1997 when rain forced the event to be cut to two rounds. Lopez shot a 71 in the first round and a 66 in the second round.