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KRAFT NABISCO CHAMPIONSHIP


April 6, 2013


Lizette Salas


RANCHO MIRAGE, CALIFORNIA

THE MODERATOR:テつ We'd like to welcome Lizette Salas into the interview room.テつ Lizette, talk to us about your round and then we'll get into some specifics about what it would mean tomorrow, etcetera.
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ Well, I started off with two birdies back‑to‑back, and that was my goal was to start off strong.テつ I made a three‑putt on 8, which I was not happy about but came back with a birdie on 9, and I wasn't hitting the ball as well as the first two days, but I kept putting myself in good position, hit some good shots out of the rough, and hit a great bunker shot on 17 to get up‑and‑down for par.テつ Obviously you want to end with a birdie, and didn't quite drop.テつ Overall pretty good day considering I didn't hit the ball well.

Q.テつ That missed birdie opportunity at the last, are you going to sleep okay on that?
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ That will be in the back of my mind, just knowing that I could have made that putt and only two shots back.テつ But you just can't control everything out here, and I just put a good solid stroke and it just didn't go in.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Major championships provide a big stage.テつ You've got one out there now that has 18 holes on it.テつ What have you learned about yourself throughout this competition that you didn't know prior?
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ Geez, that's a good question.テつ I just learned that I can play some pretty good golf, and on a big stage like this, being my second year, and I have been in contention these past two tournaments, but not to where I was in the lead in the last group the last two days.テつ So everything is going good, I've just got to stay patient and just trust my putter and just keep it simple.

Q.テつ Is it hard to play with somebody like Inbee who seems to have no signs of nerves and just totally unflappable out there?テつ Does that get a little frustrating sometimes when she makes every putt and doesn't seem to‑‑
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ Oh, I expected that from her.テつ I've played several tournaments with her, and that's the type of player she is.テつ That's very admirable on my side.テつ But that's Inbee, and I just try to have fun and not pay too much attention on what she's doing, I'm just trying to stick to my game plan.テつ I smile, she might not, who knows.テつ We're very different players, but we have the same goal, and that's to win tomorrow and jump in that pond.

Q.テつ How hard will it be to pick up three shots on her?
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ Well, if I play well, it won't be as hard.テつ I'm just going to stick to my game plan. テつI can't control what she does, I can only control my swing thoughts and my routine.テつ That's all I can control.テつ So we'll see what happens tomorrow.

Q.テつ Let's talk about that for a second.テつ Louisville came from 12 back to beat the Shockers in the Final Four semifinals today.テつ You've got to come from a few shots back tomorrow.テつ How will your game plan change?テつ Are you going to try to put the foot down early?
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ You know, we'll see.テつ We'll see how I feel tomorrow morning, and today luckily I went‑‑ I got a Tweet from Oscar de la Hoya saying rounds 7, 8 and 9, go for the knockout.テつ So I tried that today, and tomorrow he said put on a show.テつ We'll see if I shift into gear tomorrow and throw in some fist pumps and knock in a couple birdies.

Q.テつ Just like the first couple days, a lot of support for you out there in the galleries.テつ Do you hear a lot of that?テつ Do you try and tune it out at any point during the round?
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ No, I welcome it.テつ I just say keep cheering me on, and that's what keeps the adrenaline going and keeps the momentum up for me.テつ You know, I feed off the crowd, and to have my fans out here, my family here, it just helps me stay calm.テつ I said yesterday other players would feel more pressure if they had more fans out.テつ To me that's the opposite.テつ I welcome more cheers.テつ I heard lots of "fight ons" today and lots of lilies, and that's very heartwarming.テつ I'm playing in my backyard, so I can't ask for anything more than that.

Q.テつ You seem really relaxed right now.テつ Are you nervous?
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ My hands are shaking.

Q.テつ Are you calm out there or are you edgy?
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ Today I was a little edgy, but the hands were shaking, but I just tried to smile it off and pretend like I wasn't nervous.テつ Obviously when you're in contention for a major championship, of course you're going to get some nerves, but I tried to calm them down, and birdies help to calm the nerves a little bit.テつ I'm going to try to make as many as I can tomorrow.

Q.テつ Have you ever been in your career in the position that you'll be in tomorrow, in the final group and you have to go out and chase hard?テつ Has that happened to you before?
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ No, not in my professional career.テつ Maybe in college I came back to win a golf tournament, and so this is all a learning experience for me, and I'm just trying to have fun with it.テつ You know, if I just keep it simple and just stick to my game plan and just really believe that I can pull it off and I have so many people around me that believe in it, I just have to believe it myself, so we'll just see.テつ We'll just see what happens.

Q.テつ How long have you been using the longer putter?
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ Since second stage of Q‑school, so almost two years maybe.

Q.テつ Was there a reason for switching?
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ I was not putting very well when I was on the Sumatra Tour.テつ So it was my idea to go to the long putter.テつ I don't know, I just love it, and it's definitely helped my confidence on the putting green.テつ But even if I had the short putter it would still be the same stroke.

Q.テつ Stacy Lewis made her first victory a major championship.テつ How much have you thought about that, if at all?
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ Someone did mention it to me, and the boost of a career can start here at the Kraft Nabisco, and it would be amazing if it would for me tomorrow.テつ But you just have to stay patient, you just have to stay in the patient, stay in the present, and I do not want to get ahead of myself tomorrow and just keep it in the fairway and keep it on the green and roll it in.

Q.テつ She has a reputation as one of the great putters out here.テつ What do you think of her stroke?
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ To be honest, I don't even look at it.テつ I don't look at anyone else's putting stroke.テつ She does roll the ball very well.テつ I do look at that, and she does roll in many putts.テつ But I can do that, too.テつ So it's just a matter of keeping my head still and keeping my grip pressure very, very light.テつ I can make birdie from anywhere.テつ I just have to keep my confidence up tomorrow.

Q.テつ Let's get back to Oscar a little bit.テつ Seems like you guys are pretty chatty.
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ Yeah, he is just hilarious.テつ We just were cracking jokes during the pro‑am, and he was just saying how golf is like a boxing match, and you just have to keep fighting and you just have to be prepared for anything.テつ He's just been Tweeting me and calling me or calling my caddie and then talking to me.テつ He's just been a great inspiration.テつ We have similar backgrounds, and he just told me to be proud of who I am.テつ Yeah, as I get more successful I'm going to have people pulling me different places, but as long as I keep focused and have the right people around me, I won't have a problem.

Q.テつ Did he say whether he'd come out tomorrow?
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ Oh, I can ask.テつ I don't know if he will.テつ We'll see.テつ I'll Tweet him later.

Q.テつ And what will you do tonight?テつ Do you have a routine?
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ I have no routine.テつ My family is here.テつ They're going to stay the night.テつ We'll have the kids go in the pool and just have some family time and have a little barbecue like last night, and just keep it fun.テつ This is what I live for.テつ This is what I dreamed about my entire life is to be in contention at a major championship and hopefully get my first victory here in Southern Cal.

Q.テつ Does your dad do the barbecuing?
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ No.

Q.テつ Do you?
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ No.テつ I just eat the food.

Q.テつ Who does?
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ My host family did the barbecuing last night, so we just relaxed and played for the best tomorrow.

Q.テつ Nos.1, 2 and 3 in the Rolex Rankings are not playing their best golf this week for whatever reason and it's provided you this opportunity along with you playing well.テつ Are you ready for all this?テつ Tomorrow could really change a lot about your career.テつ There are several in the media and fans out there who did not know Lizette Salas before this week, before this day.
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ Yeah.テつ A lot can change for me tomorrow.テつ The world might know who Lizette Salas is.テつ That's what I've been wanting to do my entire life is to get my story out there and to get more people aware of someone who wasn't thought of as a great player but is being successful, and just the way I think about it is I have 37 spots to go.テつ I'm No.38 in the rankings, and I have 37 spots to go.

Q.テつ What's the furthest you've ever come from behind at any level to win a tournament, do you know?
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ My college coach might know this one, but I'm assuming three shots back.テつ I think it was in Hawai'i or something my junior year.テつ It was in college.

Q.テつ When you bogeyed No.8, what was the mindset?テつ What did you feel like after that bogey?テつ What were you thinking?
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ I was very upset, and I don't like to three‑putt, and it triggered that fighter in me, and it triggered something that I want to bring it back, and knowing I had a par‑5 coming just made me want it more.テつ My caddie said, come on, girl, there's a par‑5, let's get it back, and I did just that.
What I've learned is to just like just forget about it and to not let the mistake from No.8 go on to No.9.テつ I just use that negativity to bring out more birdies.

Q.テつ What will you tell yourself this evening before you go to sleep and what would you tell any fans who are following Lizette Salas on the golf course tomorrow about you?
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ What do I tell myself?テつ Nothing so much.テつ I can't sleep very well when I'm in a position like I am today.テつ I just tend to think of a lot of what‑ifs, so tonight I'm just going to tell my mind to shut up and to let me sleep.

Q.テつ What would you tell the fans who are following you that they need to know about you?
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ I would tell them to wear a lot of red and gold tomorrow and just to keep cheering me on and to‑‑ what can I for ask but to just cheer me on.テつ I'm here for them, as any other LPGA pro, we're here for the fans, we're here to entertain, so that's what my game plan is tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you very much.テつ Congratulations on your first three rounds, and best of luck tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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