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Lizette Salas: US golfer opens up about mental health battle after taking Women’s PGA Championship lead

The 31-year-old shot a five-under par 67 on the Atlanta Athletic Club on Thursday to take a one shot lead after the opening day of play.
Afterwards, Salas admitted that she has struggled along with her mental health over latest months which has affected her game.

“I wished to speak about this at first of the yr, however I wasn’t prepared,” Salas mentioned. “I wasn’t — I wished to share this — my story and my course of after I was assured sufficient to share.

Salas plays her second shot on the ninth hole during the first round of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship.

“I suppose now’s the time to speak about it, and that is okay. Everyone has their very own timeline of sharing what they’ve gone by. And I’m not going to lie. I’m just a little nervous even speaking about it now, however it’s okay. And I’m in a a lot better place. Just glad to be right here.”

She revealed her struggles started when the coronavirus pandemic struck in 2020.

Not being able to step onto the golf course and showcase her skills all over the world “hit laborious” for Salas.

And it confirmed in her outcomes, as she performed in 12 occasions after the LPGA Tour returned, failing to complete within the top-10 as soon as.

“It’s been fairly a curler coaster of emotion,” the world No. 45 said. “I actually did not really feel like myself in 2020, and I feel with the entire Covid-19 and never having the ability to work and have golf as my outlet, that basically hit laborious.”

However, in 2021, she has discovered her approach over latest weeks, ending tied for fifth on the Pure Silk Championship in May and ending tied for sixth on the Meijer LPGA Classic earlier in June.

And her stellar opening spherical on Thursday got here on the again of a superb driving efficiency, lacking simply two fairways in her opening 18 holes.

Salas reacts to her putt on the ninth green during the first round.
“It was undoubtedly not simple,” she said about the situations. “We began with fairly moist situations this morning, however the greens are rolling extraordinarily pure. I had a extremely good warmup. I used to be actually assured coming into this week, and I feel my recreation actually fits this golf course and stored it boring.”

Her bogey-free spherical meant she completed a shot forward of Charley Hull in second place.

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