Nancy Lopez's friends share memories
*Nancy Lopez is being honored at the PGA Tour's Memorial Tournament on Wednesday, which gives us an excuse to revisit some great stories from a Nancy retirement tribute written by Jim Moriarty and published in the October 2002 issue of Golf Digest: *
IDENTIFYING THE "IT" GIRL__
"I had the pleasure of playing with Nancy in 1977, just before she turned pro. We were paired in the first round of the Women's International at Moss Creek in Hilton Head. She shot 80, and to most people it was an uninspired performance. But I came in raving about her to anyone who would listen. Her calm demeanor, emotional control and tenacity screamed out to me that she would be something special. I told my friends that she definitely had "it," whatever "it" is. Sure enough, it didn't take her long to prove me right."
"SHE'S NEVER GOING TO MAKE IT"
After Nancy turned pro, the IMG people hired about 12 players to do a pro-am and clinic and said to me, "Oh, good. You're a real student of the game-we want to see what you think about this girl's swing, because everyone says she's going to be a superstar." Nancy got up there in the clinic and she was hitting these big duck hooks, and I told everyone, "Well, she's short and she's across the line, and she's never going to make it." They've never let me forget that.
A COLLEGE RIVALRY
In college a whole bunch of teams got together and toilet-papered and soaped Tulsa's van. Nancy came out in the middle of the night and started yelling, "Who did that? Beth Daniel, where are you? I know you did that." I said, "It wasn't me, it wasn't me." But she always blamed it on me, totally. She still does.