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June 27, 2021

Lizette Salas

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Atlanta Athletic Club

Quick Quotes

Q. Here with Lizette Salas. I know you have said you're an emotional person, and you said to Golf Channel that those are happy tears. How are you feeling? I know this wasn't what maybe you planned, but at the same time how proud are you of yourself?

LIZETTE SALAS: I'm extremely proud, and I think my family and my team are extremely proud of me. Yeah, we came in with a goal, and I think we exceeded it.

I got some -- I did what I planned to do. When things weren't going my way, I still said, I'm okay.

There's just a lot going on right now. There's a lot of emotion. I'm really grateful for being in this position and for fighting until the end.

I was talking earlier how I was -- how before I was tired of playing with that chip on my shoulder, and now I own that instead of running away from it. Yeah, I played great this week, and I think this is the start of something great.

We ranked up some Solheim Cup points, and the beautiful thing is there's two American flags on top of that leaderboard. A lot, a lot of positives. I'm just really grateful for everything.

Q. You opened up, as well, about your mental health and the obstacles that you've taken and overcome over the last couple months, and here you are in the position that you are in. You said something earlier about what you were contemplating a few months ago. Just talk through those emotions of being able to kind of reflect on the Lizette last year at this point to the Lizette right now.

LIZETTE SALAS: It's a complete, complete 180. I was considering retirement. I didn't think I could get out of that deep hole, and really my team stepped it up.

I think I'm back.

It's just a beautiful thing, and I don't mean to cry because -- I'm just really happy right now.

I think a lot of us take our mental health for granted, and me coming from a Hispanic culture, it's very hard to talk about it. But I just hope that regardless if you're a pro athlete or a student of any color, shape or form, mental health is important, and you're not alone. That was the scariest part for me is I felt like I was alone, and now hearing the chants and everyone pulling for me, it was just a magical week, and I'm just really happy.

Q. On No. 12, Nelly hit it in there close. You had a wedge in your hand to a back pin. Was it adrenaline, was it a missed club? What happened there?

LIZETTE SALAS: You know, and that was my favorite wedge, too. The good thing is I was committed to that shot. You know, this wind is pretty swirly. Maybe a little drop-kick, I don't know, got a few extra yards out of it. Even though I was in the bunker, I said, I can hold this. I was still in a good position, and yeah, I made bogey, and I think I was, what, five shots back or something, and I said, I'm not done yet, which we saw on 15 in a two-shot swing, and kept fighting. I think I'm just extremely proud of that.

Q. I wanted to go a little deeper on the fighting you talked about. You're playing against somebody who looked destined to win, looked almost flawless until 15 and the rest of the field fell off and no one could challenge her and you were the one that refused to quit the whole time. What was that like making yourself keep fighting against someone who looks like has destiny taking them on a wave?

LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, we both had different plans, different game plans. Yeah, when you're a longer player you can definitely attack these pins, but I gave it all I got.

Before 12 it was just a one-shot difference, I think, and I think that says a lot about not only my game but my attitude and my character. Yeah, I wasn't intimidated at all, and I was confident coming into today, and just it didn't go my way. But I'm totally fine with that.

Q. Is this fair or unfair to say that eventually her length maybe told the story or broke it down finally at the end? Is that the thing that finally maybe carried her just a little bit above?

LIZETTE SALAS: Maybe. Possibly. You know, to be completely honest, I was not paying attention to what she was doing. I walked to 16 tee box, and I said, I'm not done.

She played great, and there's nothing I could have done differently to change her game plan, and that says a lot about her. I'm just lucky she's on the American side for that Solheim Cup.

Yeah, I'm just extremely happy for her and Jason.

Q. You feel like you gained a lot more -- if you lost anything this week, you gained a lot of things this week?

LIZETTE SALAS: I definitely won in other aspects. Yeah, I didn't get that trophy, but I think I accomplished more than what I had expected. Yeah, like I said before, I think this is the start of something great, and I just want to thank everybody who was pulling for me and cheering me on this week.

Q. When you say this is the start of something great, what is your vision? What do you see coming?

LIZETTE SALAS: A lot more fight, a lot more final-round pairings. You know, this is also a learning experience, and I think this just shows that I'm not done, that retirement is not in -- should not be coming out of this mouth and that I should be proud of what I did today.

Q. What stopped you from retiring, and what were those conversations like?

LIZETTE SALAS: What stopped me from retirement? My team stopped me from retirement. My agent, my coach, my longtime coach of nine years. I think finally being raw and coming forward -- they pretty much stopped me. They know who I am deep inside, and they know what I'm capable of, and I think for me, trusting people, trusting my team and really committing to the new process, that was a huge turning point.

Q. You opened up earlier this week about the mental health challenges you've gone through. What has it meant to you to have more athletes opening up more about mental health in general?

LIZETTE SALAS: I think it shows that we're normal people. I feel like it just shows that we don't get a pass on anxiety or depression or anything like that. I think all of us speaking out shows how brave we can be, how vulnerable, and yeah, it's scary to even talk about it, but I think it just shows the rest of the world that we're just like everyone else and that we can all come together and help each other out and overcome whatever it is that is going on.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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