Historic triumph for golfer Aditi at Women's Indian Open
Gurugram, Nov 13 (IANS) Fast-rising teenage golfer Aditi Ashok scripted a double-first for India as she shot an even-par 72 in the final round to win the Hero Women's Indian Open title here on Sunday -- the victory also making her the country's first woman to bag a title on the Ladies European tour (LET).
Carrying a two-stroke overnight lead, the 18-year-old took her total score to three-under 213, one stroke clear of Brittany Lincicome of the US and Spaniard Belen Mozo who finished tied second on two-under 214.
Aditi's performance for the round included birdies on the par-four second, 10th and 18th holes and bogeys on the seventh, 13th and 17th at the DLF Golf and Country Club.
After 16 holes of play, both Aditi and Belen bogeyed the 17th hole to tie with Brittany for the top spot. On the decisive 18th hole, Aditi hit an incredible approach shot which landed and rolled back to stop one and a half feet from the pin.
Belen, on the other hand had to settle for a par. Aditi took a moment to gather herself and calmly holed the ball, fully ensuring that the Indian Open remains in the country for the first time since the tournament began in 2007.
Thanks to the win, she took home a prize purse of $60,000, propelling her to the top spot in the Rookie of the Year rankings.
Talking to the media, she 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."
Aditi has had a good year on the LET but could not win a title. "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", Aditi said.
A win here also helped her take the top spot in the Rookie of the Year rankings and she will look to stay on top with just two events left in the calendar year.
"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," she said.
Thai player Kanphanitnan Muangkhumsakul took the fourth spot with a total score of 215, followed by English golfer Florentyna Parker at 216 to complete the top five positions.
Among other notable golfers, Emily Pedersen and Kiran Matharu finished tied 9th while Christine Wolf, who had remained in contention for the last two days, had to settle for the tied 11th position.
Local professional Vani Kapoor had an off day and carded six-over 78 to settle for tied 28th position. Diksha Dagar finished as the best amateur in the tournament with a total score of 229.