Strong start puts Lizette Salas in contention at AIG Women's British Open
The beginning of Lizette Salas' second round at the AIG Women's British Open was perfect. She birdied the first four holes at Woburn Golf Club to put herself near the top of the leader board. The birdie streak ended with a par at the fifth hole, and she followed that with 12 more pars and one more birdie. Her second-round 67 after a 69 on Thursday leaves Salas at eight under for the tournament. She's tied for third, four behind leader Ashleigh Buhai.
Playing well in the majors has been the theme of Salas' 2019 season. The 30-year-old from California finished T-17 at the ANA Inspiration, T-26 at the U.S. Women's Open, T-5 at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship and T-13 at last week's Evian Championship. With all of those strong finishes, among others in non-majors, Salas is high enough on the Solheim Cup points list to look like a guaranteed member of the team for 2019.
"The Evian was a good test last week, and I finished well there," Salas said. "I'm coming in with a lot of confidence and just kind of owning that confidence and knowing that I can pull off shots and that I can make birdie from outside 20 feet."
Salas has found some comfort in her long-range putting, but it's her ball-striking that is helping her consistently factor in the majors. She's ranked seventh in driving accuracy on the LPGA Tour and missed just three greens on Friday. Salas credits her ball-striking success to taking time to visualize each shot and committing to that image of the shot she wants to create.
Salas talked about the obvious excitement of being on the leader board of a major, but she also said that it takes a lot of mental and physical energy. As for the weekend, Salas is trying to make sure she gets the rest she needs and remains as steady as possible.
"Trying to stick to the game plan and not get too upset or too flustered out there," she said. "There's a lot of golf left."
Salas has one win in her tour career, taking the 2014 Kingsmill Championship.