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Lopez completes birthday week in style with first LPGA victory

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One day after celebrating her 25th birthday with a hole in one, Gaby Lopez went one better, carding a final-round 73 and earning her first LPGA victory at the 2018 Blue Bay LPGA with a final score of 8-under 280. The native of Mexico City, who yesterday celebrated her 25th birthday, earned a one-stroke win over Rolex Rankings No. 1 Ariya Jutanugarn at -7, with a surging Celine Boutier finishing third at -6.

Playing in the final group with Jutanugarn and World No. 2 Sung Hyun Park, Lopez drew inspiration from the star power surrounding her on the golf course.

 

“I was just very fortunate and very lucky to have that challenge, to face it, knowing I had to play my best game because they were going to play good,” said Lopez, who is the 10th Rolex First-Time Winner of the 2018 LPGA season. “I knew they were going to hit some great shots and I had to keep up with them. At the same time, just tells me that I could be in the same level. I'm working, I'm practicing, and doing lots of hard stuff to one day be up there in the world rankings with them.”

With today’s win in the People’s Republic of China, Gaby Lopez joined the legendary Lorena Ochoa as the only LPGA winners from Mexico. Ochoa last won at the 2009 Navistar LPGA Classic before retiring in April 2010 with 27 LPGA Tour victories.

“Lorena has been my mentor ever since I turned pro. You know, she's been my inspiration for my whole life,” said Lopez, who often posts pictures with her mentor to social media. “I'm just very, very happy that I'm getting another win for Mexico. That's why I wear green, white, and red on Sundays, because I've been dreaming of this moment my whole life.”

Lopez knows that Ochoa is always supporting her, and she also again drew inspiration from the memory of her beloved grandfather, Jose Lopez, who passed away in early October.

“My grandfather introduced my dad to the game of golf and my dad introduced me to the game of golf,” said Lopez with obvious emotion in her voice. “His first passion was golf, and we had a very, very special relationship. I always said that he was one of my top two favorite people in this world. You know, the moment that he passed away of course I was very, very devastated and I was very sad, but I am just very, very happy that now he can see this from up there.”