On this day in Latinx history: Nancy Lopez wins Mary Kay Classic
Mexican-American golfer had eight LPGA Tour victories in 1979
On Sept. 30, 1979, Nancy Lopez shot a 70 in the final round of the Mary Kay Classic golf tournament in Dallas to win the event by 2 strokes with an overall score of 274.
Lopez finished 12 strokes under par and took home a first-place check for $19,500. It was her eighth LPGA tour win and raised Lopez’s 1979 earnings to $193,752.
From the late 1970s to the late 1980s, no one was more dominant than Lopez, who is Mexican-American. A career that began professionally in 1977 culminated with three LPGA Championships, 45 LPGA Tour victories, nine amateur wins and a plethora of other accolades, including Player of the Year for four years: 1978, 1979, 1985 and 1988.
Lopez began playing golf at age 8 and at only 12 she won the New Mexico Women’s Amateur. She won the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship in 1972 and 1974. In 1975, Lopez entered the U.S. Women’s Open as an amateur and tied for second place.
She was the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women National Championship winner, and in 1976, while attending the University of Tulsa, Lopez was named a 1976 All-American and the school’s Female Athlete of the Year.
During the Centennial of Golf in America celebration in 1988, Golf Magazine named Lopez “Golfer of the Decade.” She was inducted into the PGA World Golf Hall of Fame in 1987.