Mumbai: Indian 18-year-old golfer Aditi Ashok went down in history as she became the first woman from India to have won a Ladies European Tour trophy, by winning the Hero Women’s Indian Open.
Her match rounds included birdies on the par-four second and tenth holes and bogeys on the seventh, hole numbers 13th and 17th.
Ashok won the title by shooting an even par-72 in the final round, on Sunday, the while she took her total score to three-under 213 whilst on a two-stroke overnight lead, leaving her tournament competition Brittany Lincicome of the US and Belen Mozo of Spain to finish and share at second place.
The Olympian golfer displayed restraint, patience and courage as she secured her 13th birdie on the par-5 18th and ended up avoiding a three-way tie, to make history.
Aditi Ashok, was undeterred by the setback she faced as she began tied in the ninth position on Saturday, and fired five birdies in her back nine to finish with a total score of 141 after the second round.
However, tensions mounted with a dropped shot on the 6th and miss-hit into the water on the 9th, resulted in a double bogey.
She lead by two shots in the final round, as she played an even-par front-nine even while Spanish golfer Mozo continued to apply pressure and carded two birdies while dropping a single shot on her front nine.
During the last two holes of the play, both Aditi and Belen secured getting the ball into the hole in one shot on the 17th to tie with Brittany for the coveted spot. On the 18th hole, Aditi hit an incredible approach which managed to land and stop from the pin at a distance of one and a half feet, to claim her first ever title win on the Ladies European Tour.
Spain’s golfer Belen, had to settle for a par, as Aditi took to her chance calmly while holing the ball to a thunderous applause and reception by the spectators. “As far as the Rookie of the Year goes, I still have a couple of weeks of golf tournaments coming up, I shall be playing in Qatar and Dubai. So I am hoping to put up a good show there to have the Rookie of the Year award too under my belt,” Ashok said.
Aditi said “I have had some good finishes in the Indian Open but to get the job done finally feels really good and especially finishing victorious in front of my home crowd is a really good feeling,”. as she took the title home, winning a prize of USD 60,000 and securing her position in the rankings of the Rookie of the Year.
The 18 year old Aditi Ashok had a good year on the Ladies European Tour (LET) but could not secure a title win so far expressing “It feels good to win the championship, I was playing good all year, I had four top 10 finishes. I had a good front nine but made a few mistakes on the back nine, but overall it was a good week,”
Thai golfer Kanphanitnan Muangkhumsakul and English golfer Florentyna Parker secured their places at fourth and fifth with a total of 215, and 216 respectively to round off the list of the top five winner category.
Emily Pedersen and Kiran Matharu both finished at 9th while Christine Wolf, had to settle for the tie at the 11th position.
Local player Vani Kapoor had her day off at the park and carded 6 over 78 to settle for a position at the 28th. Diksha Dagar finished as the best amateur in the tournament with a total score of 229.
Meanwhile, Aditi who had caught attention at the RIO Olympics, had carded 3 under 69 on the second day to grab the sole lead at the DLF Golf and Country Club.