May 22, 2021
Williamsburg, Virginia, USA
Kingsmill River Course
Q. Nice performance, 7-under 64.
LIZETTE SALAS: With a bogey.
Q. With a bogey. You had it all clicking today. How did it feel to put that together?
LIZETTE SALAS: It feels good. I came in with a different mentality, different approach. I didn't really focus on my stats. It's been a while since I've made a cut here, and considering I am a past champion, this golf course is playing completely different.
I'm focusing on visualizing my shots better and I'm obviously executing them more. Putts are feeling good. I think overall my confidence is coming back.
Did some homework on the off week and trusting the process, so I definitely feel good out here.
Q. What homework did you do?
LIZETTE SALAS: Just as far as like lie angles on my clubs. Worked on driver. I'm finally getting that roll out which helps getting shorter clubs in. Changed the putter.
Just came in with some new toys and was excited to be back, excited for the fans to be out watching, and I didn't really pay attention on what I did in the past. That was a long time ago, and I think I'm a new player and I came with a new agenda.
So pretty happy. John is back on the bag this week, or this year, who was on the bag when I won in '14, so we got some good vibes coming in. Have a friend watching, so I feel really good going into tomorrow.
Q. What is the new putter?
LIZETTE SALAS: Ping.
Q. What kind?
LIZETTE SALAS: So it's a center-shafted putter and I've never used one before. Went into the lab and fell in love with it, and it's obviously rolling really well. So just got to keep doing my warmup routine, got to stick to the process, got to keep the positivity up.
Been pretty negative in the last couple of months and we're trying to change that. Trying to get that confidence back. My team has been so supportive and know it's in there and I know it's in there.
Just going to go out there and give it my all tomorrow.
Q. Absolutely. Everything you rattled off is right up the avenue for some good confidence.
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah.
Q. And speaking of confidence, you birdied five of the last six on the front nine. If you can, just take us through that stretch of birdies at 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9.
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, you know, my ball striking has been really well. I think -- what did I start, 4?
Q. Yep, 4, 5...
LIZETTE SALAS: 4 was a nice little five-footer. The next was another four-footer.
Made a nice little up and down on 7. Was about seven, eight feet.
8 was a good approach, also five, six feet.
And then 9, probably the longest birdie putt of the day, which was about 20 feet.
My misses were working out really well. Just got to tighten it up in the middle of my round. Feel like I got -- a couple slipped way a little bit.
I'm not going to complain about a 7-under.
Q. No, absolutely not. When you're in that kind of stretch right there, when you made the turn what was going through your mind? Were you thinking any -- obviously one shot at a time, but did you have visions of a grand day?
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, you know, it's been a while since I've had those kind of days, so when I got to the turn I just kept saying, Just focus on your shot. Just visualize and not think about the result. I think that's what my coach has been telling me.
So just kind of keep that momentum going and give yourself decent opportunities. I mean, some of the pin placements are not easy, so a two-putt, par, and moving on is a good mentality.
Obviously take your birdies when you can. I got away with a solid par on 15. Got a little into some trouble, but kept it in play most of the day and just kept grinding.
Q. We've seen you interact at the highest level with fans at Solheims.
LIZETTE SALAS: Uh-huh.
Q. How nice is it to have the fans back out here at an event that you've had good success at and some familiar faces around?
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, just starting to see more fans out, it just kind of gives that you extra momentum to keep pushing. Most of these fans did see me win in 2014, so they're all pulling for me and that gives me motivation to keep going.
I think overall the tour is excited to have more fans and to get at that full experience. Even for fans to be able to come out, like we hope this is the highlight of their year, so it's just really -- I'm really happy to see them out.
Q. And you're a Barbasol gal.
LIZETTE SALAS: And I'm a Barbasol ambassador and the Pure Silk family has done so much for not only us players but for the tour. They stepped up and sponsored a few events, have been so supportive of the tour, what we're all about.
The Murray family has gone through so much, and the fact that they're still here supporting us and the tour, it means a lot to us.
Q. There is a lot of potential first-time winners at the top of the leaderboard, and then you have yourself, a past champion. What's the excitement just to kind of compete with some of those heading into tomorrow --
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah.
Q. -- some people shooting for that and you have a little bit of an upper hand knowing the course.
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, everyone has a different game plan. Mine is just to stay focused and just trust in my own process. Anything can happen on this golf course. You can get off to a hot start and then 16, 17, 18 are pretty tough.
So anything can happen, and I'm hoping and I'm trusting that my experience can give me a little bit of an advantage. At the same time, it's just one shot at a time.
Q. Yeah, exactly. Last one I have for you. Course is playing different obviously than past years.
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah.
Q. I would imagine with two tee boxes moved up, 15 and 18 today, those played different as well. Probably affected some scoring for several individuals down the stretch. How different is the course playing and how different was that back nine stretch?
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, the course is definitely playing different, and I think that helped me to not focus on my past results, just knowing that it's completely different and there is hardly any rough.
But the greens are rolling really fast, and -- what was the last part of your question?
Q. Just the back stretch.
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, actually some of the tees have been moved back, which has made it a little more complicated. But they have moved up 15, the reachable par-5. 18, which I have never seen before.
So the tour is giving us a little bit of variety as far as strategy coming down the stretch, which will make things interesting tomorrow.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports