- RACE TO CME GLOBE
1978 Rookie of the Year, 4x Rolex Player of the Year (1978, 1979, 1985, 1988), 3x Vare Trophy recipient (1978, 1979, 1985)
Born in California, Nancy Lopez grew up playing golf in Roswell, New Mexico. She won the New Mexico Women’s Amateur three times from 1969-1971, followed by the U.S. Girls Junior in 1972 and 1974. Lopez went on to play collegiate golf at the University of Tulsa, where she was named an All-American, Female Athlete of the Year for her play in Tulsa, won the AIAW National Intercollegiate Golf Championship and was a member of the U.S. Curtis Cup and World Amateur teams. She left college after her sophomore year and turned professional in 1977.
Lopez became an LPGA Tour rookie in 1978, winning her first-ever tournament at the 1978 Bent Tree Classic. She went on to win eight more times that year, including her first major championship title at the 1978 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Lopez earned Rookie of the Year, Rolex Player of the Year and Vare Trophy honors, the only woman in LPGA Tour history to win all three in the same year. She went on to win 39 more times on Tour, including two more major victories at the 1985 and 1989 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Her last win on Tour came in 1997 at the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship. She was a member of the 1990 U.S. Solheim Cup Team and captain of the 2005 winning team.
In 1987, Lopez was inducted into the World Golf & LPGA Halls of Fame. She was also a three-time GWAA Female Player of the Year and two-time AP Female Athlete of the Year, and won the LPGA Founders Award in 1987, the Flo Hyman Memoria Award (1992), the USGA Bob Jones Award (1998) and the Old Tom Morris Award (2000).