April 21, 2022
Los Angeles, California, USA
Wilshire Country Club
Q. Lizette Salas, solid start to your week here in LA; 2-under. How are you feeling after a round like that?
LIZETTE SALAS: You know, this course is tough. Like even though I've had a lot of experience playing here in my collegiate years, you just never know what you're going to get.
Got off to a bad start on the back nine and one bad swing cost me two shots. I think the key for me this week is to stay patient. These poana greens you could easily start losing -- getting frustrated and things like that.
But playing in my home -- almost my hometown and seeing all the familiar faces, feels good to be back.
Q. Can you talk about some of the risks you've taken on and off the golf course and what lessons have you learned from those risks that you've taken?
LIZETTE SALAS: Risk on and off the golf course? Man, you can write books about that. You know, I've taken risks in changing my team, leaving home, starting fresh during COVID.
You know, you take a lot of risk out on the golf course. That's a weird question. Risk on and off the golf course, I mean, I think the biggest risk that I took was leaving everything I knew back in 2020 during COVID and ignoring the signs of anxiety and depression and just shutting those away and thinking something new can erase it.
That was is biggest risk I took and I think it taught me the biggest lesson about myself and the people around me and how important mental health is. I learned how lonely it can get out here, which quickly taught me like who my true friends and who the people that love me the most are.
I think that biggest risk.
As far as on the golf course, I don't take too many.
Q. I love that. You play safe.
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah.
Q. On that note, how important are family and your community -- how important have they been? How much has this golf community helped you?
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, no, I mean, we can talk about a golf family. We can talk about my immediate family. They've been my backbone. You know, even though golf is an individual sport and it's solely on yourself, there is a behind-the-scenes team that just are there for you through thick and thin, regardless of how much you want to fight it or not.
But my community, my hometown, has always had my back through the ups and downs, through almost calling it quits a few times. They know my capability and they're there if I need a shoulder to cry on.
This golf community is so much closer than you think. I really got a grasp of that during COVID. Everyone struggles during different times, but we're much closer.
And honestly, we go through the same things than most people probably don't think we do, so that's refreshing to know.
Everyone kind of goes through the same thing out here and that we're not alone.
Q. Exactly. And on that note -- again, in that same vein, I mean, you're -- things are constantly changing out here. You go to a different golf course, different conditions, different people. I mean, honestly, you see different people on the LPGA staff every week. You see there is a lot different changes. How do you personally adapt to everything that is changing around you?
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, that's a great question. You know, 11 seasons now out here, things have changed week to week, year by year, but how do I adapt is just communicating with my team. Communicating how I'm feeling and just how do I adapt my game to this golf course. I like how every week is a fresh start.
Yeah, we want to think about our past finishes and how we want to play the week. But I think for me a challenge is be present. I like how my team has been the same for this last decade. My coach has been the same. I have the familiar caddie on the bag.
Yeah, I like change but I don't like it.
LIZETTE SALAS: But sometimes you need that. Sometimes you need a fresh start, a fresh new look. So I'm not opposed to change at all.
Q. Last question for that part. How do (indiscernible - wind) such as boldness, empowerment, integrity, and velocity apply to what you're doing off the golf course? (Wind interference.) Obviously partnership coming out next week; you're a Girls' Golf ambassador.
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah.
Q. How do those concepts really apply to what you do both on and off the golf course?
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, I think those four qualities kind of exemplify not only my game, but what I stand for outside the golf course.
Empowerment is such a strong empowering word. It's self-explanatory. But you don't have to be such a loud personality. It's through your actions. It's through how you make -- it's how you make other people feel.
I like to lead by example and I'm always an outlet for people that need to talk or that just need a friend.
What's the other one? Bold?
LIZETTE SALAS: What is boldness? Boldness is just like -- what is it?
Q. I think like to have the guts to go out and try to make a difference.
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, I think it's not only the gutness to do it, but just to own it. You have a mission and you go for it regardless of other people's perceptions or, oh, yeah, you could do that but.
It's like, no, if you're going to commit to something you go ahead and do it with 110%. I think they what my parents have taught me as a young kid. Growing up in a sport I was a minority within a minority within a minority.
So it's like you know what you're capable of and you just own that.
What was the other two?
Q. Integrity, velocity and service is another one.
LIZETTE SALAS: Integrity and what?
Q. Velocity. It's for Velocity Global, so velocity would be I guess like speeding up the growth of the game through what you're doing.
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, I think the change through the velocity and all that stuff, it just kind of goes hand in hand.
LIZETTE SALAS: If you own that boldness and that empowerment it's just kind of like a spinning wheel. It just kind of gets the -- or that domino effect. It gets things going.
I think with just sharing my story and saying, you know what? I'm still here. I'm still fighting and I'm not going anywhere. I think just that message, people relate to that whether it's on the golf course or in life.
I think reaching out to people within my community, that middle class working families, blue collar, I think I can be relatable to that.
Q. Last question, back to this week, and next week really in the LA area. As a hometown girl, man, this is your vibe, this is your people. Like how cool is it to be a part of the LA community and have these events back to back?
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, this is a treat for me. You know, to kind of see familiar faces, be back on golf courses I used to play on regularly as a collegiate athlete at USC, to have my family in the gallery, to sometimes sleep in my bed if I don't get stuck in traffic.
That familiarity, it's just a sweet treat for me. We're off to a good start. Solid 2-under, and next week my swing coach is a director of golf there, so I'm going to see a lot of members and a lot of familiar faces.
So I'm just still taking it day by day, shot by shot. Nothing is ever going to be given to you, so I'm going to control what I can and hope for the best.
Q. What's the key here at Wilshire?
LIZETTE SALAS: I have no idea.
Q. Is there a key?
LIZETTE SALAS: Staying clear out of those bunkers off the tee. They kind of creep in a little bit. Staying below the hole is key. Just speed control. Got to have that on pointe.
And just minimizing your mistakes. That's pretty much it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports