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Nancy Lopez: 1957—: Golfer

Won Her Third Lpga Championship

After her divorce, Lopez began dating baseball player Ray Knight, whom she married in October of 1982. Their harmonious relationship led her to tell Bruce Newman in Sports Illustrated, "I think if professional athletes were all married to other professional athletes, it would make for better marriages. Athletes are better suited to each other." Her second marriage was more harmonious than her first, and Lopez and Knight eventually had three daughters.

In 1985, the second year she won the LPGA Championship, Lopez was named Golf Magazine's Player of the Year. Lopez told Deford that her new family life had contributed to the improvement in her game: "Maybe I'm playing so well again just because I'm happy. More than anything else, it's probably because now I have peace of mind, so I can just go off and play golf." In 1989 Lopez won the LPGA Championship for a third time and was inducted into the LPGA Hall of Fame.

The 1990s were difficult for Lopez, who did not win from 1994 to 1996. In April of 1997 she began playing well again again, and in that year she had her lowest stroke average (70.70) since 1989. At the U.S. Women's Open, Lopez came in as runner-up for the fourth time in her career. Typically, fans did not ask why she had come in second; Lopez told Voepel that instead, they said, "Oh, we loved watching you play!" and noted, "It sounded like I won, basically, because people were so supportive." Golf star Laura Davies commented, "Nancy is obviously the most popular player that's ever been in our game." In 1997 Lopez was given a Hispanic Heritage Award for her contributions to Hispanic culture.

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: C(hristopher) J(ohn) Koch Biography - C.J. Koch comments: to Sir (Alfred Charles) Bernard Lovell (1913– ) BiographyNancy Lopez: 1957—: Golfer Biography - An Early Success, Became Professional Golfer, Won Her Third Lpga Championship, Experienced Health Problems