November 23, 2015

Purists plead their case for Steve Jones, the 1996 U.S. Open winner, who was born in Artesia, but we’re not convinced. The Land of Enchantment yields to one of the game’s most enchanting talents, Nancy Lopez. Born in Torrance, Calif., Lopez relocated to New Mexico in childhood and won the State Amateur at age 12 in 1969. She won the next two years as well. Following her graduation from Roswell’s Goddard High in 1975, Lopez placed second at the U.S. Women’s Open. During her first full season on the LPGA Tour in 1978, she became a national sensation, winning nine tournaments, including five in a row. She collected every award possible then nearly repeated the next year, winning eight times. All told, she won 48 LPGA Tour titles, three LPGA Championships and the hearts of fans everywhere with her sunny disposition.