Blessing in Disguise

To say that Lizette Salas stumbled upon the game of golf as an accident wouldn’t be farfetched. Salas’s father, Ramon Salas, has been working at Azusa Greens golf course for over 30 years and when her brother disliked the game, Lizette picked up right where he left off.

“My dad has been working at Azusa Greens golf course for 30‑plus years and he's the head mechanic there,” said Salas. ‘It was my brother supposed to play but he didn't like it, so I'm the youngest of three, so I went out there and just kind of took it as a hobby.”

Salas’s newfound hobby proved to be just what she needed to help her achieve her longtime goal of attending college but the Azusa, Calif. native got more out of the experience than what she originally bargained for.

“Yeah, that was my first and foremost goal when I was a child is that I knew golf can get me into school,” said Salas. “I was the first person in my family to graduate from college and I think that's another reason why I stayed.  I wanted to win four national championships and that's why I stayed.” 

Salas, a rookie on this year’s LPGA Tour, not only played collegiate golf but was the University of Southern California’s (USC) first four-time All-American. Immediately after college, Salas turned her attention to professional golf and after spending one year on the Symetra Tour, she moved onto the LPGA in dramatic fashion.

“I think I was in 21st or just outside the Top 20 and I made a birdie on the final hole to get into a nine‑way playoff,” said Salas. “I just went straight to the putting green and I knew it was going to come down to putting.  I didn't know the whole playoff situation, so they came up to us and they're like okay, there's nine of you.  Then we asked how many spots are there and they just said three.  We're like oh, shoot.”

Faced with a difficult task ahead of her, Salas rose to the occasion birding the three playoff holes to solidify her spot on this year’s LPGA Tour and earning her the nickname, “Miss Clutch”.

Topics: Alumnae in the News, LPGA Tour