Lizette Salas: A Closer Look


Aug 17, 2013; Parker, CO, USA; Lizette Salas (left) consoles Brittany Lincicome after she missed a putt on the ninth green during the second round of the 2013 Solheim Cup at the Colorado Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a good deal more to Lizette Salas than initially meets the eye.  Those of us who follow the LPGA Tour know that Salas credits her father with inspiring and supporting her and swapping out mechanical work with the head pro at the Azusa Greens Country Club to pay for her golf lessons.  And we may know that Salas attended USC, a short hour’s drive from her home in Azusa, California but a world away in cultural terms, on a golf scholarship.

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Quite simply, involvement in the game changed the trajectory of Lizette Salas’s life.  As a USC freshman in 2008 Salas became the Trojan team’s captain, was honored as Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and went on to become the first, four-time All American in the USC women’s golf program.

Salas played on the Symetra Tour in 2011 and earned Priority List Category 11 status for the 2012 LPGA Tour season at Q-School.  She had a solid rookie year, entering 18 events, making 16 cuts, earning $242K, not a shabby income for a 2nd year pro golfer, an astonishing income for a young Hispanic woman from Azusa.

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Her winnings crossed the million dollar mark in 2013 and although she was still looking for her first Tour victory she was selected to play on the 2013 US Solheim Cup team.

GolfWeek graded Salas’s Solheim Cup performance, characterized as “a solid debut,” at a B-, right alongside Cristie Kerr and Jessica Korda, a full letter higher than Stacy Lewis and Paula Creamer.

Salas’s first Tour victory came at the 2014 Kingsmill Championship and as she prepares to attempt back-to-back wins on the River Course, a feat that has eluded all Kingsmill champions to date, she’s just been honored by her alma mater, the University of Southern California.

To be amongst big names like NFL player Mark Sanchez it’s almost surreal – Lizette Salas

Last month Salas joined a very short list that includes

Brandon Beck


Mark Sanchez

to be recognized with the

Young Alumni Merit Award

for her accomplishments on the course and in her community.

Salas’s community work centers on the community non-profit she and her father co-founded the San Gabriel Junior Golf Program.   Salas teaches and mentors kids from her hometown on everything from nutrition, to exercise to confidence and self-esteem.  She is also an ambassador for LPGA-USGA Girls Golf a program that annually engages an estimated 50,000 young girls in the game.

I had the opportunity to rub shoulders with Lizette Salas two weeks ago, when she was lending a hand to the Symetra Tour Self Regional Healthcare Foundation Women’s Health Classic and I came away from that encounter mesmerized by her warmth and authenticity.  I wrote about how that meeting impacted on my own golf game, a phenomenon I described as The Salas Effect.

Lizette Salas is paired with Michelle Wie and Morgan Pressel for the first and second round at the Kingsmill Championship.  We’ll have a fine opportunity to see how these three Solheim hopefuls games are shaping up.

Golf Channel will provided delayed broadcast coverage for the Thursday and Friday Kingsmill rounds, 9-11pm ET.

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