Aditi Ashok announced her coming off age on the Ladies European Tour with her first Top-10 finish as a professional at the ISPS Handa Ladies European Masters here today. The 18-year-old Bangalore golfer, who represented India at the recent Olympic Games in Rio, shot a final round of three-under 69 and finished Tied-ninth at the Golf Club Hubbelrath in Germany.
She shot 73, 69, 70 and 69 this week for a total of seven-under 281. The title was won by 28-year-old Korean In-Kyung Kim, who ran away from the field on the final day with a bogey free round of nine-under 63 and a total of 17-under 271. Kim, a winner here at this event in 2014, is also a three-time winner on LPGA and has Top-5 finishes in four of the five women’s Majors.
Kim finished five shots clear of second placed Spaniard Belen Mozo, whose final round of 69 included a hole-in-one. The result was Aditi’s best showing on the LET Tour, though she was Tied-8th at the 2012 Hero Indian Open, while still being a 14-year-old amateur.
With this creditable finish as a pro, Aditi can build on the experience and move further up. This season Aditi has made the cut in four of her six starts.
On Sunday, displaying remarkable resilience and determination, Aditi bounced back from a first hole bogey pick up four birdies and kept her card free from further errors. Earlier in the third round she shot 70, which included 14 pars – 10 of them in a row from first to 10th – three birdies and a lone bogey on 18th.
Aditi, lying 10th after three rounds, opened with a bogey, but fought back in a gritty manner resembling her demeanour in the third round. She did not drop a single for the rest of the day and also picked up four birdies on fourth, 10th, 13th and 17th holes.
Aditi’s strength this week was her conversion of the par-fives, for which she was six-under. She had birdies on par-five third on first two days and an eagle on par-five 17th on second day. On the last two days, she birdied the Par-five 17th but parred the rest.
Overall she had 13 birdies and an eagle against eight bogeys, six of which came on first two days. Displaying great grit, she dropped only one shot on each of the last two rounds.
Late last year, Aditi became the first Indian, men or women, to win the Qualifying School on any Tour at the age of 17 when she stood first in LET Q-School.
This year Aditi was the youngest player in the field for Olympics, where the sport re-appeared after 114 years. She also qualified for her first Major, the Ricoh Women’s British Open after topping the Final Qualifying.