At the 2020 Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions, Gaby Lopez knocked in a 25-foot birdie putt on the seventh playoff hole to capture her second career LPGA Tour victory. After Inbee Park fell out of the playoff with a bogey on the third hole, Lopez and Nasa Hataoka needed four more holes to decide the victor, waiting overnight to Lopez to capture the win on a chilly Monday morning.
One year later, the Mexico City native cannot help but have a smile on her face as she looks back to her win, with big hopes of doing it all over again.
“It's very special to me to be able to come back to Orlando, to be able to come back and share with the celebrities,” said Lopez, who will tee off No. 1 at 9:50 a.m. alongside World Golf Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam and two-time DRTOC celebrity winner and MLB Hall of Famer John Smoltz. “I think we have an amazing opportunity to learn from huge minds that we don't get to ever speak to directly this often.”
This year, Lopez comes to Central Florida in perhaps the best shape of her life. It is a marked difference from 2020, where Lopez competed in the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions battling through chronic neck pain.
“I feel probably the strongest I've ever felt in my career, so that's probably the biggest advantage in me,” said Lopez, who also contracted COVID-19 in July 2020. “So to me, that has been tremendous. To have this year healthy, stronger, and a little faster in my club swing I think is such a blessing as well.”