Aditi Ashok is fast establishing Indian women's Golf on the world map
Eighteen-year-old ace golfer Aditi Ashok from Bangalore, India continues to shine on the world stage. She started learning the game at the tender age of 5 years, 6 months and has since then, never looked back. Her maiden win came at the age of 9 years, 2 months and she has continually represented India since the age of 12.
She continues to train at Bangalore Golf Club outside of her busy tour schedule and has a team of hard working professionals to help her stay on track.
Building on her junior golf career in India which was nothing short of a dream, she has gone on to rack up 6 International wins and 17 titles overall including 5 Low Amateur finishes in LPGA/LET events.
She accumulated a number of firsts in the amateur women’s golf arena
#1 She is the only Indian golfer to have played the Asian Youth Games (2013), Youth Olympic Games (2014) and Asian Games (2014) and is the first Asian to win the 2015 St. Rule Trophy and Lawson Trophy.
#2 She is the first Indian to win Ladies British Amateur Open Stroke Play Championship 2015 – Nicholls Trophy and Dinwiddy Trophy (Moortown GC).
#3 First Indian to win the 81st Singha Thailand Amateur 2015 (Panya Indra GC).
#4 First Asian as SILVER MEDALIST and Runners-up at the International European Ladies Amateur Championship 2015 (Murhof GC).
She ended her prolific amateur golfing career being ranked World No. 11 on World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) as the Best Indian Amateur and Best Asian Amateur as on 31st December 2015. Indeed, a strong teaser of things to come.
Earlier this year, she became the first Indian and the youngest ever women’s golf professional to win LET’s Lalla Aicha Tour School 2016 with a winning score of 23 under par at 17 years old.
Represented India in Rio
Furthermore, she added another feather to her cap by representing India at the Rio Olympics where she put herself right in the mix with a pair of 68’s heading into the weekend. Now an Olympian and an established professional golfer, her parents have helped her in staying grounded by reminding her of the bigger picture and not resting on her laurels.
For an 18-year-old hailing from a non-traditional golf country, she has a good golfing and very mature head on her shoulders, according to her fellow competitors. Despite being the youngest player in the field in a number of tournaments in her rookie campaign on the Ladies European Tour (LET), she has continued her ascent and is now ranked 323rd in the world.
Ranked 31st on the Order of Merit, she is poised to make a run at the prestigious Rookie of the Year honour on the LET, heading into the close season. Consistent performances have seen her tally 7 top-25 finishes, with her season high finish of tied-6th coming at the high profile “Andalucia Costa Del Sol Open De Espana Femenino” event.
She has made light work of her rookie campaign by sticking to her game plan during tournaments and has followed a patient approach as far as results are concerned.
All these accomplishments at such a young age have led to the inevitable question arising, “Can she be India’s most successful golfer of all time?”
Wants to be a role model for youngsters
While it is far too early in her career to draw comparisons with other successful Indian golfers like Anirban Lahiri, who has come into his own and has earned worldwide recognition for his performances in the last few years, Aditi seems unfazed by the international media upon being quizzed on such subjects. She wants to form her own legacy by growing the sport amongst the country’s young generation through being a role model to them.
Aditi rubbed shoulders with the best junior male golfers of the country during her junior golf days and that has perhaps been a blessing in disguise. Due to the lack of presence of a separate junior girls golf tour in India, she had to compete against older boys who could hit the ball much further and had a distinct edge over her.
Clearly, she has been punching above her weight since her junior golf days and her vision to be the best in the world is a recipe that will ensure she leaves a mark on Indian golf when she finally calls it a day. She seems to have all the attributes in place and with little refining and continued hard work, she can be the greatest golfer India has produced.
Next up – LPGA qualifying school
In recent months, the journey has taken the Indian to the United States in a bid to secure her LPGA tour card for 2017. A solid showing of a tie for 24th in Stage 2 in Venice, Florida means she will now be a part of the action at Stage 3 of the LPGA Qualifying school. She earlier finished tied for 21st in Stage 1 at Mission Hills Country Club.
The 18-year-old Indian carded rounds of 69-76-75-72 for a total of four-over 292 to advance to the next stage to be held at LPGA International in Daytona, Florida from 30th November to 4th December.
A total of 84 players from 21 countries made it to the 3rd stage which is the final stage of LPGA Qualifying School.
“Playing at Bobcat and Panther was great, but Bobcat was more fun,” said Aditi. Her better rounds came at the Bobcat course at the Plantation Golf & Country Club in Venice, Florida.
Competing at the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open in Abu Dhabi this week, she shot a 2 over 74 in the third round earlier today. She sits at tied-56th with an overall score of even par 216.