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Nancy Lopez still a Tiger fan

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Hall of Famer golfer Nancy Lopez says she thinks most golf fans are disappointed in Tiger Woods, but will forget all of the controversy caused by his serial infidelity.

Lopez said she is still rooting for Tiger as he gets ready to return to PGA play at the Master's next month.     

Nancy Lopez was the top player in LPGA golf for most of the 70's and 80's, much like Tiger is today for the PGA.  So she understands the pressures and temptations Tiger found as his sport's number one, and says she will be pulling for him.

Nancy Lopez said she has been a big fan of Tiger Woods, and like all of his fans are disappointed in his personal fall from grace and marital infidelity.

"Even as adults we always look for someone to be a role model, and I really thought he was that.  And now unfortunately I was very disappointed," Lopez said.

Lopez said the Masters with it's well behaved mature gallery is the perfect comfort zone for Tiger's return, but said it will still be hard on him to compete. "I know he's pretty humiliated right now. I know that if I was in his shoes, it would be really tough to come back and to focus.  But I don't know, it just depends on what kind of conscience he has."

Lopez said her fans were always there for her, and helped her in good and bad times.  Lopez said Tiger has disappointed his fans greatly now, but she believes getting back to play will take the spotlight off Tiger.

"I think in the long run people will forget like they did other times when athletes really kind of fell off the fence, and did things they shouldn't.  I think eventually, in a few years, it will be forgotten," Lopez said.

Lopez has just been named to the advisory committee to the LPGA tour by it's new commissioner. Nancy Lopez took three leaves from play on the LPGA tour, for the births of her three daughters. 

Sacrificing for her family, she was still able to win 48 victories and three LPGA championships.  But she doubts Tiger will get the same support from the fans that she received.

Nancy Lopez, who lives in Albany, was named an honorary lifetime member of the Georgia Sheriff's Association this afternoon for her work supporting their youth homes.

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