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Chick-fil-A golf event hopes to bring more birdies than brake lights to Henry

By Michael Davis

Annika Sorenstam and Jennifer Rosales are going to be among few near Eagle's Landing Parkway next week not fighting traffic snarls.

The superstars of female golf will be competing in the LPGA Chick-fil-A Charity Championship hosted by Nancy Lopez which begins Monday. The event is expected to draw some 80,000 golf fans – and drivers – to the busy Stockbridge area this week.

The Eagle's Landing Parkway/Hudson Bridge Road interchange at Interstate 75, near the tournament site at Eagle's Landing Country Club, is in the middle of a massive overhaul. The change will take a two-lane bridge to 11 lanes by June of next year but during construction orange barrels and temporary directional signs are scattered throughout the area.

The project also includes widening sections of Hudson Bridge Road and Eagle's Landing Parkway on both sides of the interstate, including the area around Country Club Drive, which provides access to the tournament site.

But DOT officials say they will not be closing any lanes in the area during the week-long tournament.

"They may be doing a little work in the right of way but they won't be putting in any lane closures in that area," said Georgia DOT spokeswoman Dorothy Daniel.

Tournament officials however, have announced a plan for tournament-related parking to be on the lot at Peachtree Peddlers Flea Market, two exits south of Eagle's Landing Parkway. Officials said shuttles will carry spectators back and forth to Eagle's Landing Country Club all week.

This year marks the 14th year the Ladies Professional Golf Association has held a tournament at Eagle's Landing Country Club. It is the last year that restaurant chain Chick-fil-A will be the tournament's title sponsor.

The player to beat this year could be Annika Sorenstam, who won the first three tournaments she entered this season.

Although there has never been a player win the event more than once, nine former Chick-fil-A Tournament champions are in this year's field, including host Lopez.

At last year's tournament, Rosales recorded her first ever LPGA victory, finishing at 14-under par en route to the win.

(Sports editor Doug Gorman contributed to this story.)