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Mexico's Lopez playing to help earthquake victims

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Gaby Lopez made the cut Friday at the McKayson New Zealand Women’s Open for fellow Mexicans suffering from the earthquake that ravaged her homeland.

Lopez, who experienced the frightening effects of last week’s earthquake, has pledged to donate all her winnings this week to the relief effort. Plus, she’s donating $25 per birdie.

When the 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit the middle of Mexico, Lopez felt the terror the tremors brought. She was in her Mexico City home at the time.

“I was at my house,” Lopez said. “At the beginning, we thought it was going to be a small earthquake, not very serious. Then everything kind of started falling off the walls, the paintings and some lamps. My mom and I started screaming around my house. We got out of the house and we could still see how the cars were going back and forth. I thought my house was going to fall apart.”

Full-field scores from the McKayson New Zealand Open

“Thank God it didn’t, but if my house felt like that, I can’t imagine how many humble houses, and how many old buildings that suffered the same earthquake we had in 1985, actually felt. The same day 32 years ago, we had another big earthquake.”

Mexican players on the LPGA and Symetra Tour have rallied to support relief efforts.

“I commit myself to donate all my earnings this week to help Mexico,” Lopez said. “I don’t know what it’s going to be, but I’ll just play my heart out and play my best for Mexico.”

Lopez is focused on helping families rebuild homes. She’s supporting the effort.

“The fund is aiming towards rebuilding houses,” Lopez said. “We’re going to rebuild 100 houses, each costing about $10,000. I think that’s a low cost, and it’s very accessible. We’re aiming to raise about $1 million so we can do as much as we can. People have lost their homes and part of their families, and I think it’s really cool that we got together to raise up Mexico again.”