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Salas' journey to top of Women's Open leaderboard

Lizette Salas
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KOHLER, Wis. – Lizette Salas took the road less traveled to the top of the leaderboard in this U.S. Women’s Open.

With a 3-under-par 69 Thursday at Blackwolf Run, the LPGA rookie claimed a share of the lead.

The daughter of the head mechanic on the maintenance crew at the Azusa (Calif.) Golf Course, Salas drove from last week’s LPGA event in Arkansas with her father, Ramon, in his truck. Ramon and Salas’ mother, Martha, emigrated from Mexico to make a new life in California. Martha is here this week, too.

Lizette learned to play growing up after her father struck a deal with a local pro. Ramon did odds jobs fixing cars, or whatever the pro needed fixing, in return for lessons for his daughter.

Salas, a USC graduate, likes the road less traveled.

“We like that truck,” Salas said. “It's red, and it has `USC dad’ on it. I think it has over 90,000 miles on it. We've had some great memories, laughed and shed tears in that truck. I’ve often slept in it. It's been a fun adventure, and we’re just going to keep going and making more experiences.”