If you follow golf, and haven’t heard of Lizette Salas by now, you must be hiding under a rock. The 23 year-old native of Azusa, California is quickly making a name for herself on the LPGA Tour in 2013, with four top ten finishes, and over $500,000 in winnings.
The USC alum shot a final round 62 on Saturday at The LPGA LOTTE Championship presented by J Golf to end regulation play tied for the lead. A double bogey six on the first playoff hole with eventual tournament winner, Suzann Pettersen would end the youngsters hopes for her first win.
Salas went into the final round of The Kraft Nabisco Championship three weeks ago, and teed off with tournament leader, and eventual winner, Inbee Park in the last group. She had a horrible day, and finished T 25, but immediately got herself into contention this week in Hawaii. Her final round 62 on Saturday was the lowest round to par by anyone on the LPGA Tour this season. She has done everything except win, and I think her first win is just around the corner.
Lizette Salas, who is a Nancy Lopez protegé, picked up an eighth place finish at The Honda Thailand Open back in February, a fourth place finish at The RR Donnelley Founders Classic, and a sixth place tie at the Kia Classic last month. That coupled with her runner-up finish in Hawaii has her well on her way to what looks to be a nice career in the LPGA.
Very proud of my caddie Greg Puga n our performance in Hawaii,we broke our previous course record of 63 in 2009 with this weeks 62 #mexiCAN
— Lizette Salas (@LizetteSalas5) April 22, 2013
After graduating from USC in 2011, Salas joined the Symetra Tour where she earned enough status to gain her LPGA Card. She recorded a career best T 4 finish at the Island Resort Championship.
Salas played collegiate golf at the University of Southern California (USC) where she recorded three wins, named the 2008 Pacific Athletic Conference-10 Freshman of the Year, two-time winner of the Pac-10 Player of the Year award (2009,2011), three-time Pac-10 All-Conference First Team selection (2009-2011), and two-time NGCA All-American First Team selection (2009, 2011).
Salas joins a contingent of young American players starting to make their presence felt on a tour that has been dominated by foreign players for over a decade. She joins Stacy Lewis as weekly regular on the leaderboard near the top, and hopefully she will help return interest in the LPGA Tour to the US audience.
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