Lizette Salas left Royal Adelaide Golf Club with an awful taste in her mouth following the Women’s Australian Open in 2017.
The Californian led the championship with eight holes to play before carding four bogies and dropping to seventh place, as South Korean Ha Na Jang bolted home to lift the Patricia Bridges Bowl.
Nevertheless, Salas – who is currently T5 at this year’s event thanks to two rounds of three-under-par 70 – couldn’t wait to return to the Dr. Alister MacKenzie-designed layout in Seaton.
“I try not to focus on what happened here on that Sunday (in 2017). Obviously I have some really good memories of this golf course, too, and I think I’m a different player compared to then,” Salas told Golf Australia magazine.
“I’m a lot more confident … I’ve been working hard the last few months and I was really excited to get here and get to familiar territory.”
Despite multiple close calls – including her runner-up finish at last year’s British Open – Salas hasn’t tasted victory on the LPGA Tour since breaking into the winner’s circle at the Kingsmill Championship in 2014.
“I try not to focus on what happened here on that Sunday (in 2017). Obviously I have some really good memories of this golf course, too, and I think I’m a different player compared to then.” – Lizette Salas
But the four-time Solheim Cupper says she is ready to change that, as she sets her sights on making the American team for this year’s Tokyo Olympics.
“I told my caddie (Patrick Smith) yesterday that I haven’t hit the ball this good since the British Open, so I’m feeling some really good momentum and I’m knocking on the door, I’m really close,” said the World No.19, who opened and closed her second round with three-straight birdies.
“My goal this year is to be on the Olympic team and that’s going to require some wins, so if I get it done this week I would be one step closer.”
South Korean superstar Inbee Park currently holds the clubhouse lead at 10-under par after signing an impressive, bogey-free round of four-under 69.
“I just love the golf course and the atmosphere here. So, hopefully I can pull it off on the weekend,” Park told reporters.
Perth product Hannah Green – who shot an up-and-down round of two-under 71 – is the best-placed Australian and shares fifth place with Salas.
Meanwhile, 21-year-old Sydneysider Robyn Choi eagled the par-5 17th and has leaped to T16 with eight holes remaining in her round.