Lopez recalls ‘Bomoh’ encounter in Malaysia

LPGA legend Nancy Lopez remembers how a ‘Bomoh’ (Malay shaman) helped keep the rain away when she played in the 1978 Colgate Far East Open at Royal Selangor Golf Club.

“They had this gentleman called the ‘Bomoh’ and they hired him to keep the rain away because it rained a lot there! So we’re playing and I remember saying like “he’s got magic”, so every time I walked by him I’d be really nice because he might give me a birdie!

“You would not believe it … we were playing and it looked as if it was going to pour; but it didn’t and we even had the trophy presentation outside. And as soon as the last person walked into the clubhouse, it poured,” recalled Lopez, who is in Singapore this week as Guest of Honour for the HSBC Women’s World Championship at Sentosa Golf Club.

Lopez added that she has fond memories of that trip. “Colgate-Palmolive paid for the top 50 money winners to travel the Far East. I have good memories of  that … I was young and had just started the tour. It was a great experience,” she said.

Lopez retired in 2002 after a stellar career that saw her bag 48 LPGA titles including three Majors. During her first full season on the LPGA Tour in 1978, Lopez won nine tournaments including the Malaysian event to bag Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year honours. She was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1987.

Asked what advice she would give to aspiring young golfers, Lopez said she would tell them to have fun playing golf. “I always say, “enjoy the walk” … enjoy what you’re doing inside the ropes. When you step over a shot, you’re not going to be perfect. I didn’t win 48 tournaments playing perfect golf. I always tell them, if you miss a shot, it’s the attitude you take to the next shot that’s going to make you a great player.”

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