Lopez Fit Ready to Make Return

By Associated PressMarch 6, 2007, 5:00 pm
2006 Ginn OpenOMAHA, Neb. -- Nancy Lopez knows she might not be able to win on the LPGA Tour as a 50-year-old, but that's not going to stop her from trying.
 
Lopez said she plans to play five or six LPGA Tour events this year, starting with the $2.6 million Ginn Open in Reunion, Fla., April 12-15.
 
She's played in only 11 tour events since 2002, and she hasn't had a top-10 finish since 1997.
 
'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.'
 
Lopez spent the past couple years working to improve her fitness and has lost more than 30 pounds.
 
She said she was inspired to come back after captaining the winning U.S. team in the 2005 Solheim Cup, which pits Europe's top women golfers against their American counterparts in a competition similar to the men's Ryder Cup.
 
'Watching Paula (Creamer) and Natalie (Gulbis) and all the young players hit the ball, I would sit there and say, 'I remember when I hit it just like that,'' Lopez said. 'It just motivated me to think maybe I can do it one more time. Let's see what my body says.'
 
Lopez said it would be impossible for her to be competitive on tour without 21st-century equipment, which allows older players to keep up with long hitters.
 
'I still keep the ball in the middle of the fairway, my putting is still very strong,' she said. 'There's going to be a nerve check when I get back out there, because I haven't been under pressure for quite a long time.'
 
Lopez pumped life into the LPGA Tour as a 21-year-old rookie in 1978, when she won a record five straight titles on her way to nine victories that year. A fan favorite, Lopez attracted large galleries while playing her way to 48 career titles, including three majors.
 
She was the face of women's golf for most of two decades and relishes her role as one of the game's great ambassadors.
 
Lopez also said she feels sorry for Michelle Wie, who was anointed the next great women's golfer even before she turned pro in 2005. Wie has yet to win as a professional and has earned more distinction for her failures against men.
 
Lopez reiterated her advice to Wie, saying the teen phenom should prove she can beat the best in the women's game before she tries to compete against men.
 
'I think she should be winning by now,' Lopez said. 'Even if she played amateur golf for a while, I think she probably would have won an LPGA event by now. I don't think she'll win a PGA event.'
 
Wie has earned millions, mainly from endorsements and appearance fees, yet her most significant victory remains the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links, which she won at 13. She's made seven starts on the PGA Tour and missed the cut each time, most recently by 14 shots at the Sony Open in January.
 
Lopez said Wie needs to define herself in the women's game.
 
'I know she's making a lot of money, but eventually, if you don't win, the money will go away,' Lopez said. 'I think whoever is guiding her and whatever direction they're taking her, they need to give her a hug and let her be a little girl for a while and not make her grow up so quickly.'
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Ginn Open
  • Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

    Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

    By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

    Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

    Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

    “Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

    Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

    “When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

    Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

    “Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

    In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

    “Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

    Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

    Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

    “Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

    Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee: