Women’s Indian Open: Historic crown for rookie Aditi Ashok

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Overnight leader Aditi had a two-shot advantage coming into the final round.

Aditi Ashok poses after receiving the Hero Women's Indian Open Golf trophy in Gurugram on Sunday (Photo: AP)

Gurgaon: Teenager Aditi Ashok marked her arrival on the big stage in style, becoming the first Indian woman to win a Ladies European Tour title by clinching the Hero Women’s Indian Open here on Sunday.

On a day that saw leads shift hands on multiple occasions, Aditi carded an even par 72 to get the better of USA’s Brittany Lincicome and Belen Mozo of Spain.
Brittany and Belen ended tied second with totals of 2 under 214 after 54 holes. Aditi totalled 3 under 213 to win a prize purse of $60,000, propelling her to the top spot in the Rookie of the Year rankings.

Overnight leader Aditi had a two-shot advantage coming into the final round. She played an even par front nine and looked well on course to claim her maiden title on the Ladies European Tour.

However, Belen continued to apply pressure and carded two birdies while dropping a single shot on her front nine. Brittany, who has two major titles to her credit, too had a good day and gave herself a realistic chance of the title.

With just two holes to play, both Aditi and Belen bogeyed the 17th 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 kball to get a rousing applause from the large crowd.

“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,” the Bengaluru girl said.

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,” she 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 two events left in the calendar year. Thai player Kanphanitnan Muangkhumsakul took the fourth spot on 215, followed by England’s Florentyna Parker (216) to complete the top five positions.

Among other notable golfers, Emily Pedersen and Kiran Matharu finished tied ninth while Christine Wolf had to settle for the tied 11th position. Local Vani Kapoor had an off day in the park and carded 6-over 78 to settle for tied 28th. Diksha Dagar finished as the best amateur in the tournament with 229.