Fitness & Sports
Nancy Lopez Receives 2019 Dave Marr Award at Insperity Invitational
THE WOODLANDS, TX – World Golf Hall of Fame Member, Nancy Lopez, was presented with the prestigious Dave Marr Award at the annual Insperity Invitational Player’s Dinner on Thursday evening in The Woodlands, TX.
Created in 1999 to honor individuals who exemplify the traits Mr. Marr lived by – sportsmanship, honesty, integrity and a passion for the game of golf – Lopez joins a prestigious list of winners who have done remarkable things both on the golf course, and in their communities.
“A goal of mine that my father taught me was to be a good person and treat people well no matter their background. Winning golf tournaments is special but winning an award like this is way more impressive because it means you have done special things on and off the golf course,” said Lopez.
A history rich list of recipients of the Dave Marr Award include Arnold Palmer, Miller Barber, Don January, Ben Crenshaw, Larry Nelson, Tom Watson, Fuzzy Zoeller, Lee Trevino, Curtis Strange, Barbara Nicklaus, Bernhard Langer, and Tom Lehman.
“Dave Marr was a fabulous man, and to be a part of this group of so many players I admire, including my biggest hero Barbara Nicklaus, is such an honor. This award has been very special to many people, and now it is very special to me.”
Lopez has had nothing short of a legendary life on the golf course. After winning the New Mexico Women’s Amateur when she was 12, and two U.S. Girls Junior titles, along with an NCAA victory and a runner-up finish as an amateur at the 1975 U.S. Women’s Open, the Mexican-American stormed onto the LPGA TOUR in record fashion in 1978. Lopez won five consecutive tournaments that year and went on to win nine times in her rookie season on the LPGA TOUR at just 21 years of age. She became the only player to win the Rookie of the Year Award, Player of the Year Award and Vare Trophy in the same season.
Over the next decade, Lopez racked up victories worldwide, and was setting records around the globe while changing the face of women’s golf. She became the youngest player ever to qualify for the LPGA TOUR Hall of Fame at the age of 30, but she wasn’t done.
In the 25th year of her storied career Lopez announced 2002 would be her last year playing a full-time schedule. Her career came to an end with a total of 48 wins on the LPGA TOUR that included three major titles and four runner-up finishes at the U.S. Women’s Open. Lopez was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1987, earned Player of the Year honors four times and was a member of the United States Solheim Cup team in 1990. She was also captain of the team in 2005.
“Dave Marr was a dear friend so recognizing the incredible people and community leaders who make our game great in his honor is a highlight for me each year during tournament week,” said Bryan Naugle, who was a Dave Marr Award recipient in 2013. “Arnold Palmer left a tremendous mark on the Insperity Invitational, and I think it is fitting we are recognizing who I believe is the Arnold Palmer of women’s golf this year. Nancy Lopez captivated fans with her charisma, she had time for everyone, and had a fierce determination to win. She is a true legend of our sport, who continues to be an important leader for the growth of the game. I know Dave Marr would be very proud of everything Nancy has been able to accomplish, and we definitely are too.”
A role model for all young women especially young Hispanic professional golfers, Lopez dedicates her time to spending countless hours working in the community and giving back to charitable organizations such as AIM (Adventures in Movement) – a charity for special needs children – March of Dimes Foundation, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and The First Tee amongst many others. She continues to spend the majority of her year on the road attending charitable and corporate outings.
A PGA TOUR Champions event, the Insperity Invitational presented by UnitedHealthcare features the world’s premier golfers age 50 and older. Last year’s tournament winner, Bernhard Langer, will be returning to the Insperity Invitational to defend his title April 29-May 5, 2019. Managed and operated by Pro Links Sports, in 2008, the tournament received the prestigious Presidents Award as the best event on the Champions Tour, and in 2011 received the President’s Award for Excellence in Achievement. In 2012 and 2015, the tournament received The Players Award for having the “best of everything” for the players, sponsors and spectators. Interfaith of The Woodlands, one of the local charities benefitting from the tournament, was named the 2016 PGA TOUR Champions Charity of the Year. The Insperity Invitational is grateful to have support from these official corporate partners: Woodforest National Bank, 3M, United Airlines, Northside Imports Houston – Alfa Romeo, Keurig Dr Pepper, Bai, National Car Rental, Sports Radio 610, 9 Iron Wines, Houston Chronicle, Texas Sports Nation, Miller Lite, Shiner Bock and Vander Dys Fine Jewelers. Past champions include Larry Nelson, Jay Haas, Mark McNulty, four-time winner Bernhard Langer, John Cook, Fred Couples, Brad Faxon, Fred Funk, Esteban Toledo, Ian Woosnam and John Daly. For more information about the Tradition of Excellence at the Insperity Invitational, visit www.insperityinvitational.com, on Instagram @insperityinvitational, Twitter @InsperityInvtnl, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/InsperityInvitational.