TEAM SALAS IS READY
Lizette Salas, San Gabriel Valley, California native and USC graduate, is happy to be home where many of her friends and family are close by and will be able to check out her play this week. Salas, who finished T2 at last month’s Kia Classic, had a huge following during her final round and projects there to be more fans this week.
“Everyone is going to have their purple on on Sunday. Got my little nephews coming. Hopefully be a bigger crowd than it was at Kia. I had a lot of support there. I just feed off their vibe. They cheer very loud for me.”
Salas’ off-season training has proven itself in her recent finishes and she feels as though she’s on the verge of a breakthrough.
“Yeah, I think just it all started in the off-season. I made some changes with my team, with my mentality,” said Salas, who’s been working out in the gym to prevent injury. “I’ve been playing pretty solid. I am really close to getting my second win. That’s been on my mind.”
“I think overall just my ball striking has been pretty good over the last few weeks. So my game plan hasn’t changed. I got both coaches here. Team Salas is ready.”
The USC Trojan, who practiced at Wilshire Country Club once a week throughout her collegiate career, feels as though the experience has made a deep impact upon her life.
“To have access to a club like Wilshire is a great thing. You know, there are so many things for kids nowadays that I think golf is such a powerful sport. It changed how I thought of myself as a player. It changed my life.”
Rolex Rankings No. 23 Salas will tee off with Rolex World Rankings No. 1 Shanshan Feng and No. 24 Stacy Lewis at 8:17 a.m. for the first round of the HUGEL-JTBC LA Open.
WILSHIRE A SPECIAL PLACE FOR TUBERT
Emily Tubert, a second-year LPGA member, dealt with some nerves during Monday’s qualifier, fighting for a spot to enter the HUGEL-JTBC LA Open, which went into a three-way playoff for two spots.
“I really wanted to be playing this week,” the 25-year-old explained. “I wanted to be back. I have a lot of friends and family in the area and they’ve always wanted to see me play golf and I’ve never played close enough. I was really nervous. There were three of us for two spots. I just stuck with my game plan and ended up winning the playoff with a birdie on the second hole.”
Tubert grew up in Burbank and has a rich family history at Wilshire Country Club.
“My first exposure to golf was actually here at Wilshire Country Club. My grandfather was a member here for over 25 years. He’s the golfer in the family. Sunday brunch at the club was my first exposure to golf.”
Wilshire C.C. plays a special role in the Tubert family, as Emily said she’s come “full circle to be back at Wilshire now in my second year on the LPGA Tour.”
“It’s really special. My grandpa is 92. He’s still around. For him, he’s so excited. You know, he’s not a member here anymore, but he still gets his hair cut here at the club. When he found out that I qualified, there might have been some tears involved.”