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Lopez, Nancy (1957–)

Lopez, Nancy (1957–)

Mexican-American golfer. Name variations: Nancy Melton; played as Lopez-Melton, 1980–81. Born Nancy Marie Lopez, Jan 6, 1957, in Torrance, CA; attended University of Tulsa on a golf scholarship; m. Tim Melton (tv sportscaster), 1979 (div. 1982); m. Ray Knight (professional baseball player), 1982.

Led otherwise allmale high school golf team to state championship; entered US Women's Open as a senior in high school, finishing in 2nd place (1975); won Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) golf championship (1976); in 1st full season in Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), won 8 tournaments—a record 5 in a row—to break the prize money record winning by more than $189,000 (with more than $3.2 million, was 2nd in career earnings); only golfer, male or female, to be named both Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year in the same year (1978); won the LPGA championship (1978, 1985, and 1989); won her last major LPGA win at the Mazda (1993); lost US Open by one stroke (1997), the only major championship that has eluded her. Named All-American and University of Tulsa's female athlete of the year (1976); named LPGA Rookie of the Year (1978); won twin honors of LPGA Player of the Year and Vare Trophy (1978, 1979, and 1985); inducted into the LPGA Hall of Fame (1987).

See also (with Peter Schwed) The Education of a Woman Golfer (Simon & Schuster, 1979); and Women in World History.

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