Lopez Receives Special Exemption Into Womens Open


LPGA Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez has accepted a special exemption to play in the 2002 U.S. Womens Open, scheduled from July 4-7 at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan. The exemption was extended by the Womens Committee of the United States Golf Association.
Lopez, 45, who earlier this year announced her intention to scale back her tournament schedule after the 2002 season, will be playing in her 25th Womens Open. Lopez previously accepted special exemptions into the championship in 1999 and 2000.
I am thrilled to have another chance to win the Womens Open, a championship that means so much to me, said Lopez.
Lopez is a four-time runner-up (1975,'77,'89,'97) and is the only player in the championships history to shoot all four rounds in the 60s, which she did in 1997 at Pumpkin Ridge (Ore.) Golf Club. She finished 9-under-par and was runner-up to Alison Nicholas.
The recipient of the USGAs Bob Jones Award in 1998, Lopez won the 1972 and 1974 U.S. Girls Junior championships. Since turning professional in 1977, she has won 48 LPGA Tour events. In 1987, she was inducted into the LPGA Hall of Fame. She is the only player in LPGA Tour history to have won Rookie of the Year, Player of the Year, and the Vare Trophy (for lowest scoring average) in the same year.
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