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.
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.
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
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
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
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.