The 24-year-old former Southern California player shot a 3-under 68 in the completion of the rain-delayed second round and birdied three of the last five holes in the afternoon for a season-best 65.
“I took a different approach this week,” Salas said. “I only played the pro-am. I’ve seen the course several times. It’s my third year here. I didn’t want to think too much about the golf course and just hit my targets. Last week, I had a good practice session at home, so I was feeling good coming in.”
She had a 13-under 200 total on Kingsmill Resort’s River Course.
South Korea’s Park Hee-young, the second-round leader, was second. She bogeyed No. 18 for a 69.
“Today, a little bit miss driver off the fairway, so it’s bit tough to make it close or make birdie chance,” Park said. “Tomorrow, a little more focus on the accuracy rather than distance.”
|Korea’s Park Hee-young tees off on the sixth hole on Saturday. (AFP-Yonhap)|
Second-ranked Stacy Lewis and No. 3 Lydia Ko, both trying to take the top spot in the world from Park In-bee, were five strokes back along with Katherine Kirk. Lewis shot 70, Ko 67, and Kirk 68.
Coming off a victory two weeks ago in the North Texas LPGA Shootout, Lewis would jump to No. 1 with a victory or a solo second-place finish, as long as Ko doesn’t win. Ko needs a victory to move to No. 1. Inbee Park is skipping the tournament.
“Overall, I’m really happy,” Ko said. “I mean, I guess improving every day is a really good sign.”
She played 24 holes Saturday.
“I started on 13 this morning,” Ko said. “Luckily, I birdied that and birdied the next hole. After that, I just kind of went back to my hotel and had some rest.”
Kraft Nabisco winner Lexi Thompson was 7 under along with Yani Tseng and Pornanong Phatlum. Thompson shot 70, Tseng 68 and Phatlum 66.
“I have good confidence with my putter and short game today,” Phatlum said. “Just try to be relax tomorrow and try my best.”
Salas began the day with a bogey on the par-5 third ― her 12th hole in the second round ― and closed with a birdie on the par-4 ninth.
Oosthuizen, Todd share lead
IRVING, Texas (AP) ― Louis Oosthuizen is still looking for a remedy for his recurring back issues.
A victory at the Byron Nelson Championship would sure make him feel much better.
“The last year and a half was really frustrating,” he said.
Oosthuizen birdied four of the last five holes for a 6-under 64 on Saturday and a share of the third-round lead with Brendon Todd. The 2010 British Open champion had the low round of the day after recovering from bogeys on two of the first four holes.
“I made a nice birdie on 5, and just really made some good putts,” Oosthuizen said. “Every opportunity I had for birdie I actually made. My eye was good today, and I hit a lot of them really close.”
Todd who made 12 consecutive pars before holing a 4-foot birdie at No. 18 for a 68 to match Oosthuizen at 10-under 200.
On the morning of the Nelson’s final round last year, Oosthuizen withdrew because of a neck issue. He missed extended time last season, and is still bothered by the back even though he won at home in South Africa in January.
Mike Weir, James Hahn and Gary Woodland were a stroke back.
“That’s what I’ve been working toward the last few years, to get myself back here in this position, and looking forward to the challenge,” said Weir, the 44-year-old left-hander.
Weir shot 67 while missing 4-foot putts on Nos. 15 and 16. Hahn’s 65 included five birdies in a row on the back nine, and Woodland shot 66 with a double bogey at No. 7.