Tuesday, May 22, 2012
40 greatest female athletes: Nancy Lopez
In her first full season on the LPGA Tour, Nancy Lopez won nine tournaments, including five in a row, on her way to capturing Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year honors.
ESPN is marking the 40th anniversary of Title IX by unveiling the top 40 female athletes of the past 40 years.
Before golfer Nancy Lopez even graduated from high school, she already had a runner-up finish at the U.S. Women's Open.
Lopez, No. 24 in ESPN's countdown, went on to collect 48 career victories and earn a spot in the World Golf Hall of Fame.
And nobody captured the adoration of the galleries quite like Lopez.
"She loved the crowd, they loved her, and she fed off of that," former LPGA pro Hollis Stacy says. "She just had a beautiful smile on the golf course. Even for those of us within the ropes, Nancy's smile always eased the tension.
"She would smile, then stab you in the heart by making a putt."