Some things are best kept secret. At least that’s how Lizette Salas feels about a tip she was given earlier this week that helped her score a 5-under 66 on Thursday at The Ascendant LPGA benefiting Volunteers of America. Salas carded four birdies in her opening nine holes to go out in 31, then cooled off a bit on the back, making just one birdie on the par-3 11th and closing with seven straight pars. The 66 is her lowest recorded score at Old American Golf Club, as well as her lowest ever in her eight appearances in this event. With 54 holes left to play, she plans to continue to lean on that precious advice as she looks for her second victory of the season.
“Lee Trevino's son was out here yesterday. He walked nine holes and I said, what is the key to this golf course? He gave me two little tips that I'm just going to keep to myself,” said Salas who hit 10 of 13 fairways and 14 of 18 greens on day one. “I think the most noticeable thing that I've seen is that these greens are much faster. They're not as grainy and they're a lot quicker. My short game is on pointe. I made it boring reading the putts really well.”
In July, Salas captured her first LPGA Tour victory since 2014, winning the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational with partner Jennifer Kupcho. She’s played some fairly steady golf since then, missing just one cut in her last six competitive starts with one withdrawal that came at the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open. But, she found some fire at last week’s Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, finishing in a tie for fifth after firing a closing 6-under 65, and that trend seems poised to continue as Salas sits one back of the lead, a good start on what was a tricky day in The Colony, Texas.
“I think my game plan applies to a lot of different golf courses. It's more so my mentality: just rest up and know that this golf course really demands a lot of different shots and a lot of patience on the putting greens,” Salas said. “So I think that was the game plan from last week to this week, and just stay aggressive through my shots and stay committed to each and every one of them. That was the game plan, and just rest up for tomorrow and hope for a good weekend.”