By: Eastern Eye Staff
Aditi Ashok made golfing history last Sunday (13) when she became the first Indian woman to win a Ladies European Tour title.
The teenage star, 18, won her home title in New Delhi by one shot over America’s Brittany Lincicome and Belen Mozo of Spain to claim the £44,000 prize.
Beginning the final round at the Hero Indian Open a shot clear of the field, Ashok shot an even par 72 for a three under par total.
She fired birdies on the second and 10th hole but bogeys on seven, 13 and 17 guaranteed a nervy finish, until a final hole four on the par-five 18th closed out the victory.
“I’ve had a lot of good finishes at the Indian Open and to finally get the job done feels good, especially as an Indian player in front of my crowd,” a delighted Ashok said.
“I left a lot of birdies out there. I was hoping I could make a few on the front (nine) because the back can be tough, but never mind.”
At just 17, she won the Ladies European Tour qualifying school and was in contention going into the final round of this summer’s Olympic tournament in Rio.
Since then Ashok has been in red hot form, with four top-four finishes in her last five events to go with her Rookie of the Year prize.
“I have two more events to go in Qatar and Dubai, and the LPGA Final stage too,” she added, looking forward to the future.
It was a double success for Indian golf last weekend, as SSP Chawrasia won his first Asian Tour title outside of India in a thrilling finale to the Manila Masters.
The 38-year-old big-hitter won a three-way play-off against Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung and Sam Chien of the United States following a fine six under par final round saw him finish at 19 under.
“I am very happy,” Chawrasia said. “Everyone has been telling me that I have won a lot of times in India and it’s about time I won outside of my country. I am glad that I did it this week.
“It had been playing on my mind for a while. Now that it is done, I really feel free. The win has certainly added to my confidence and augurs well for the tournaments to follow.”
Chawrasia’s winning birdie won him £225,000 to lift himself to seventh on the Asian Tour standings.
“This year has been great. It is the best year of my professional career,” he added.