LPGA Hall of Famer Lopez to reduce schedule after 2002
March 13, 2002
ALBANY, GEORGIA (TICKER) -- Nancy Lopez, one of the most dominant women
golfers of all time, announced that 2002 will be her final year as a regular
on the LPGA Tour.
A tearful Lopez announced Wednesday that she will complete this year then
reduce her schedule to just two or three events a year.
"I will be playing one more full year then playing very few tournaments,
maybe two or three a year," Lopez said. "It's time to get on to my other life
-- my family."
The 45-year-old Lopez won 48 times on tour, including three majors. One
of the most recognizable golfers in LPGA history, she helped bring the tour
After playing sparingly from 1974-1977, Lopez joined the tour full time in
1978 and made an immediate impact, winning nine of 26 events. Five of
those wins came in a row and she became the only player ever to win the
Rookie of the Year, Player of the Year and Vare Trophy in the same season.
Lopez added eight wins in 19 starts the following year and won at least two
tournaments every year until 1990 -- with the lone exception 1986, the year
she gave birth to her second child and was limited to four events.
During her illustrious career, Lopez has captured the LPGA Championship
three times and was runner-up at the U.S. Women's Open on four occasions.
She is the only golfer to card four straight rounds in the 60s at the U.S.
Lopez, who started just 11 times in 2001, has career earnings of $5.31
million. She qualified for the Hall of Fame in 1987 by capturing her 35th
career title -- the Sarasota Classic.
"I just can't dedicate myself to playing the type of golf I want to play,"
Lopez added. "I truly don't feel I can dedicate myself to putting in the
time to play the type of golf I played before."