Salas grabs 4-shot lead in Meijer LPGA

Lizette Salas of Azusa posted a bogey-free seven-under-par 64 on Saturday to seize a four-stroke lead over Lexi Thompson and Kris Tamulis heading into the final round of the Meijer LPGA Classic at Blythefield Country Club in Belmont, Mich.

The 26-year-old Salas, whose only LPGA Tour victory came last year in the Kingsmill Championship, had three birdies in the first four holes and four on the front nine before adding three in a row through No. 16 en route to carding a 54-hole score of 16-under 197.

“I made some changes, switched coaches, after missing the cut in the ANA (Inspiration in April) and everything is coming together,” said Salas, a former All-American at USC. “I’m glad to be in this position and hope to be holding the trophy tomorrow.

“I came off a good finish (a tie for 14th) in the (U.S. Women’s) Open and I’m feeling confident right now.”

Thompson, who was tied for the 36-hole lead with Salas and rookie Alison Lee, bounced back from her only bogey of the day on No. 17 with a two-foot birdie putt on the last hole to shoot 68.

Tamulis, a native of Michigan, was at even par for her round through nine holes before carding four birdies on the back nine in a 67.

“It would be a dream to win in my home state,” Tamulis said. “I grew up here and played all my junior golf here. People have been coming up to me all week saying they saw me when I was this big.

“It’s great to have an LPGA Tour event here and I’m proud to be playing really well.”

Lee, who left UCLA in the middle of her sophomore season in December, could manage only a 70 and was six shots back in a tie for fourth with Brittany Lincicome (65), Caroline Masson (65) of Germany, Se Yeon Ryu (65) of South Korea, Katie Burnett (66) and Gerina Piller (69).

Top-ranked Inbee Park of South Korea shot 66 and was another stroke behind in a tie for 10th with Brittany Lang (66) and two other South Koreans, Hee Young Park (65) and Q Baek (70).

at Blythefield Country Club in Belmont, Mich.

The 26-year-old Salas, whose only LPGA Tour victory came last year in the Kingsmill Championship, had three birdies in the first four holes and four on the front nine before adding three in a row through No. 16 en route to carding a 54-hole score of 16-under 197.

“I made some changes, switched coaches, after missing the cut in the ANA (Inspiration in April) and everything is coming together,” said Salas, a former All-American at USC. “I’m glad to be in this position and hope to be holding the trophy tomorrow.

“I came off a good finish (a tie for 14th) in the (U.S. Women’s) Open and I’m feeling confident right now.”

Thompson, who was tied for the 36-hole lead with Salas and rookie Alison Lee, bounced back from her only bogey of the day on No. 17 with a two-foot birdie putt on the last hole to shoot 68.

Tamulis, a native of Michigan, was at even par for her round through nine holes before carding four birdies on the back nine in a 67.

“It would be a dream to win in my home state,” Tamulis said. “I grew up here and played all my junior golf here. People have been coming up to me all week saying they saw me when I was this big.

“It’s great to have an LPGA Tour event here and I’m proud to be playing really well.”

Lee, who left UCLA in the middle of her sophomore season in December, could manage only a 70 and was six shots back in a tie for fourth with Brittany Lincicome (65), Caroline Masson (65) of Germany, Se Yeon Ryu (65) of South Korea, Katie Burnett (66) and Gerina Piller (69).

Top-ranked Inbee Park of South Korea shot 66 and was another stroke behind in a tie for 10th with Brittany Lang (66) and two other South Koreans, Hee Young Park (65) and Q Baek (70).

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