Aditi Ashok qualified for the Stage III of the Ladies PGA Tour, the most lucrative platform for professional women golfers, by finishing tied 24th in Stage II in Venice, Florida.
The 18-year-old Indian carded rounds of 69-76-75-72 and totalled four-over 292 to advance to the next stage to be held in Daytona, Florida from November 30 to December 4.
Playing at the Panther and Bobcat Courses in Florida, Aditi started brilliantly and was placed Tied-8th after the first day, but slipped next two days before recovering to a very creditable 24th by the end of the week.
A total of 84 players from 21 countries made it to the Stage III, the Final Stage of LPGA Qualifying Tournament.
“Playing at Bobcat and Panther was great, but Bobcat was more fun,” said Aditi. Her better rounds came at Bobcat course.
The only Indian to have played on the main LPGA Tour has been Simi Mehra in the late 1990s.
The top 20 finishers at final stage will earn LPGA Tour membership for the 2017 season. They will get into most of the full-field events and a few other bigger events.
Players finishing between 21st and 45th get limited starts on LPGA and most events on Symetra Tour, the second level Tour to LPGA.
Earlier in August, Aditi was Tied-20th in the Stage I at Mission Hills, where there were other Indians Sharmila Nicollet who finished 93rd and Simi Mehra missed the 54-hole cut.
Aditi, who is expected to be the top home challenger at the Hero Women’s Indian Open, has already had an impressive year as a rookie with four successive Top-10 finishes and she is 26th in LET rankings and third in the race for the Rookie of the Year.
In August, she received global attention as she was placed in Top-10 after two days at the Rio Olympics.