Hall of Fame LPGA star Nancy Lopez says that she will return to the tour at age fifty and that she expects to make some top tens.
“I know I have to get in real good shape to try to compete with the young girls, but I think I still have the mental capacity to go out there and play good golf,” Lopez said Tuesday at a news conference before a University of Nebraska at Omaha women’s athletics fundraiser. “Let’s just see if I can make it in the hole a little faster than I have the last few years.”
I can remember when Lopez was the main attraction of the LPGA Tour, but my only recent image of her is as a rather frumpy looking gal doing Florida real-estate commercials. Nonetheless, Lopez says that she has lost thirty pounds and is ready.
I hope so. I would hate to see her tarnish her reputation with a silly Michael Jordan-like “comeback.”
Lopez joined the LPGA Tour as a rookie in 1978 and went on a five-event winning streak that year enroute to nine victories and a Rookie of the Year award. She won a total of 48 events in her career, including three majors. A four time LPGA Player of the Year (1978, 1979, 1985 and 1988, she was admitted to the Hall of Fame by the time she reached the age of 30.
Lopez also has been a great ambassador for the sport. The USGA awarded her the Bob Jones award in 1998 for her distinguished sportsmanship.
The problem she’s going to have on this comeback is that she’s not an exempt member of the tour. So that means she’ll have to rely on sponsors exemptions and whatever she may have from the majors she’s won. Lopez says that she’ll try five or six events.
Good luck, Nancy.