5’5”…Started playing golf at the age of 8 under the guidance of her father Domingo and turned professional after her sophomore year of college...Is a playing editor for Golf For Women magazine...Named Female Player of the Year by the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA) from 1978-79 and in 1985...Named “Golfer of the Decade” by GOLF Magazine for the years 1978-87 during the Centennial of Golf in America celebration in 1988...Inducted into the PGA World Golf Hall of Fame in November 1989...Awarded the 1992 Flo Hyman Award by the Women’s Sports Foundation...Recipient of the USGA’s 1998 Bob Jones Award to recognize distinguished sportsmanship in the game of golf...Recipient of the 2000 William D. Richardson Award from the GWAA as well as the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America’s Old Tom Morris Award...Recognized during the LPGA’s 50th Anniversary in 2000 as one of the LPGA’s top-50 players and teachers...Inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in February 2001...Named to Hispanic Business magazine’s list of 80 Elite Hispanic Women in April 2003...Presented with the 2003 Billie Jean King Contribution Award from the Women’s Sports Foundation...In 2004, became the first woman to receive the Frances Ouimet Award for Lifelong Contributions to Golf…Also in 2004, with husband Ray Knight, launched the “Back in Full Swing” campaign to promote education about and prevention of heart disease…Recipient of the 2006 ASAP Sports/Jim Murray Award given by the GWAA...In 2008, inducted into the New Mexico High School Hall of Fame…Founder and principal of the Nancy Lopez Golf Company...Married baseball star Ray Knight on Oct. 29, 1982...Gave birth to daughters Ashley Marie in 1983; Erinn Shea in 1986; and Torri Heather in 1991...Competed as Nancy Lopez-Melton from 1980-81.
In 2007, named captain of the 2009 PING U.S. Junior Solheim Cup Team; competed in six LPGA Tour events.
In 2005, captained the U.S. Solheim Cup Team to a three-point victory to regain the Cup from Europe, 15-½ to 12-½.
In 2004, named captain of the 2005 U.S. Solheim Cup Team.
In 2002, announced she would compete in just 14 events as part of the Nancy Lopez Farewell Tour; recorded the third hole-in-one of her LPGA career during the second round of the Jamie Farr Kroger Classic Presented by ALLTEL.
In 2000, played in a limited number of events due to gall bladder surgery in late May; season-best finish was a tie for ninth at The Office Depot; the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship officially renamed its title to the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship hosted by Nancy Lopez in her honor and she hosted the tournament for seven years; in March, the tournament announced the creation of the Nancy Lopez Award, which is presented annually in conjunction with the tournament to the world’s outstanding female amateur golfer.
In 1999, played in a limited number of events due to knee surgery in May; best finish was a tie for 12th at both the Standard Register PING and AFLAC Champions Presented by Southern Living.
In 1998, best finish was a tie for second at the Sara Lee Classic, where she lost in a four-way, sudden-death playoff to Barb Mucha.
In 1997, won her 48th career title at the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship; with rounds of 69-68-69-69, became the first player to record four rounds in the 60s at the U.S. Women’s Open, yet still finished one stroke behind Alison Nicholas for her fourth runner-up finish at the event; crossed the $5 million milestone in career earnings after the season-ending ITT LPGA Tour Championship.
In 1996, top finish was a tie for second at both the du Maurier Classic and the ITT LPGA Tour Championship.
In 1995, posted nine top-20 finishes, including a season-best third place at the Youngstown-Warren LPGA Classic.
In 1994, best finish was a tie for second at the Chrysler-Plymouth Tournament of Champions; crossed the $4 million mark in career earnings at the McCall’s LPGA Classic at Stratton Mountain.
In 1993, won the Youngstown-Warren LPGA Classic in a sudden-death playoff with Deb Richard for her 47th career victory.
In 1992, recorded back-to-back, sudden-death playoff victories at the Rail Charity Golf Classic and the PING-Cellular One LPGA Golf Championship; tied her career-low 64 during the final round of the Rail Charity Golf Classic.
In 1991, played in only 11 events due to pregnancy; won the Sara Lee Classic; gave birth to third daughter, Torri Heather.
In 1990, became the second player in LPGA history to cross the $3 million mark in career earnings when she captured the MBS LPGA Classic title in a sudden-death playoff with Cathy Gerring; was a member of the victorious U.S. Solheim Cup Team, carding a 2-1-0 record.
In 1989, enjoyed her most successful financial season, earning $487,153 and registering three victories, including the Mazda LPGA Championship.
In 1988, won three tournaments and was in three sudden-death playoffs – defeated Marta Figueras-Dotti at the Ai Star/Centinela Hospital Classic, lost to Juli Inkster at the Crestar Classic and lost to Mei-Chi Cheng at the Rochester International; became the fourth player in LPGA history to cross the $2 million mark in career earnings; captured Rolex Player of the Year honors for the fourth time.
In 1987, season was highlighted by her 35th career victory at the Sarasota Classic (the same event in which she claimed her first career win in 1978), which qualified her for the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame; after waiting six months to meet the Tour’s membership requirement, was inducted on July 20 as the 11th member; also won the Cellular One-PING Golf Championship.
In 1986, top finish was a tie for second at the Nestle World Championship and Cellular One-PING Golf Championship; gave birth to second daughter, Erinn Shea.
In 1985, won five events, including the LPGA Championship; her win at the Portland PING Championship came by way of a sudden-death playoff with Lori Garbacz; won Rolex Player of the Year and the Vare Trophy for the third time in her career.
In 1984, won the Uniden LPGA Invitational and Chevrolet World Championship of Women’s Golf.
In 1983, crossed the $1 million mark in career earnings and won two tournaments; gave birth to first child, Ashley Marie.
In 1982, captured the J&B Scotch Pro-Am and Mazda Japan Classic; recorded the first hole-in-one of her LPGA career during the Peter Jackson Classic.
In 1981, won three tournaments: the Arizona Copper Classic; Colgate Dinah Shore, where she tied her career low score of 64 in the final round; and the Sarah Coventry Classic; also tied her career-low score with a 64 in the final round of the Columbia Savings LPGA Classic, where she finished eighth.
In 1980, won the Women’s Kemper Open, Sarah Coventry Classic and Rail Charity Golf Classic; narrowly missed out on a fourth victory at the Mary Kay Classic, which she lost in a sudden-death playoff to Jerilyn Britz; her win at the Rail Charity Golf Classic was the 20th of her career, setting an LPGA record for youngest to that milestone (23 years, 7 months and 26 days old); carded a career-low 64 in the final round of the United Virginia Bank Classic to finish second.
In 1979, captured eight tournament victories (including the Coca-Cola Classic in a sudden-death playoff with Bonnie Bryant) and finished second to JoAnne Carner at the Women’s Kemper Open following a sudden-death playoff; set the LPGA record for youngest to 10 career wins (22 years, 2 months and 5 days old at the Sunstar Classic); won her second Player of the Year and Vare Trophy to become the first player to win Rookie of the Year followed by Player of the Year and Vare Trophy the very next season (Annika Sorenstam joined her in 1995).
In 1978, as a rookie, won nine tournaments, including a record-setting five in a row (record was tied by Annika Sorenstam in 2005); recorded her first sudden-death playoff victory at the Coca-Cola Classic, defeating LPGA Tour Hall of Famer JoAnne Carner; came close to two more victories that season, losing sudden-death playoffs to Michiko Okada at the Mizuno-Japan Classic and to Sally Little at the Kathryn Crosby/Honda Civic Classic; remains the only player to win Rookie of the Year, Player of the Year and Vare Trophy honors in the same season.
In 1977, two days prior to the summer LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament, competed in the U.S. Women’s Open as a professional and finished second for the second time in her career; qualified for the Tour by finishing third at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament to earn exempt status; after qualifying for the LPGA Tour, posted two additional second-place finishes in her first two starts as an LPGA professional.
Lopez was only 12 when she won the New Mexico Women’s Amateur, and in the following years, she won the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship twice (1972, 1974). She won the Western Junior three times and the Mexican Amateur in 1975. Also in 1975, Lopez entered the U.S. Women’s Open as an amateur and finished in a tie for second. The next year, she claimed the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) National Championship and was a member of the U.S. Curtis Cup and World Amateur teams. At the University of Tulsa, Lopez was named a 1976 All-American and the university’s Female Athlete of the Year.