Nancy Lopez
Golf Pro

Born: January 6, 1957

Nancy was born in Torrance, California, but she was raised in Roswell, New Mexico. She always liked to play golf, even when she was just a little girl. Her father always encouraged Nancy to play sports and was especially proud of Nancy when she won her first golf tournament at the age of 12.

Nancy continued to play golf during high school and started college at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma. She quite college to become a professional golfer in 1977. That year her mother also died unexpectedly after an appendectomy. Lopez said that losing her mother helped make her more mentally powerful.

Nancy finished second in her first three tournaments as a professional. She won five tournaments in her first year, breaking the rookie record for both men and women. A sports writer wrote that Nancy had become famous faster than any other golfer ever had. She also gained a reputation for being one of the nicest and most courteous pro golfers on the circuit. She also married sportscaster Tim Melton in 1979. Unfortunately, the marriage ended in divorce three years later.

Nancy remarried a baseball player, Ray Knight and had her first child in 1983. Although she cut back her golfing to give birth, she still won two tournaments and exceeded the $1 million mark in career earnings.

During her career Nancy did a great deal to raise the popularity of women's golf. She was admitted into the Hall of Fame in 1987. She was the youngest person ever to be inducted. She had to wait for a few months before she could get her award because she had not played ten years yet. (Ten years is the minimum number of years a golfer must play before he/she can be admitted into the Hall of Fame).

Nancy once said, "Doubt yourself and you doubt everything you see. Judge yourself and you see judges everywhere. But if you listen to the sound of your own voice, you can rise above doubt and judgment. And you can see forever."

Nancy retired from pro golfing in 2002 so she could spend more time with her family.

Learn more about Nancy at the following websites:

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