Gurgaon: She has been knocking on the door for a while now even in her rookie season, but on Saturday, Aditi Ashok planted a flag with a three under 69 to grab the sole lead in the $400,000 Hero Women’s Indian Open at the DLF Golf and Country Club.
Aditi (141) in doing so became the first Indian to lead the field going into the final round of the championship. Defending champion Emily Pedersen, Christine Wolf and Belen Mozo were tied for second on 143, two behind Aditi, who will need to hold her nerve to challenge for the honour of being the first Indian to win a Ladies European Tour event.
Resuming the day from ninth place, Aditi had an indifferent front nine that had a birdie, a bogie and a double. Clearly the testing course was having an effect, not just on the teenager, but the rest of the field as well
Shaking off the setback, the rookie caught fire on her back nine. Aditi blazed her way to five birdies and was tied second after 17 holes, She then kept her momentum going and produced a brilliant approach shot which landed a yard from the pin, which she holed comfortably.
“I think I had a really sharp back nine,” Aditi said later. “I hit all nine greens, so had nine good chances of a birdie and I made five of them. So it was very good.
“It could have been better in the front nine. I had a double bogey on the 9th hole but apart from that it was good.”
Spain’s Belen Mozo, Denmark’s Pedersen and Austria’s Wolf were tied for second with 143s. Belen hit a two under 70 on the day with three birdies and a bogey while Wolf went one over 73. Pedersen was struggling at four over after 14 holes but recovered strongly with an eagle and two birdies to stay in the race for her second title.