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Aditi Ashok slips on final day, bags silver in women's golf

Source: PTI
Last updated on: October 01, 2023 14:25 IST
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Aditi Ashok on the podium at the Asian Games in Hangzhou on Sunday

IMAGE: Aditi Ashok on the podium at the Asian Games in Hangzhou on Sunday. Photograph: India_All Sports/X

Aditi Ashok's fortunes tumbled on the final day as she carded a horrendous five-over 77 to sign off with a silver for India's first medal in women's golf at the Asian Games in Hangzhou on Sunday.

Coming into the final day with a commanding seven-stroke lead, Aditi saw the advantage evaporate as she stumbled upon four bogeys and a double bogey against a lone birdie to slip to the second position.


In the forefront for the gold medal after three days, Aditi's slump also saw the team slip from first to fourth and end without a medal.

India's other two players, Pranavi Urs (75) and Avani Prashanth (76), also had a rough day in the final round. Pranavi finished 13th and Avani was T-18.

In the men's section, Anirban Lahiri (65-67-74-68) was T-12 while SSP Chawrasia (67-72-68-75) dropped to T-28. Khalin Joshi (70-69-69-73) was T-27 and Shubhankar Sharma (68-69-76-73) was 32nd.

The Indian men ended seventh as Korea took the gold, while Thailand were second and Hong Kong third.

It was a difficult day for scoring, as only six players shot under par and only two went into the 60s in the women's competition.

One of them was the 21-year-old Arpichaya Yubol of Thailand, who like Aditi plays on the LPGA Tour. Yubol shot 68 in the final round and won the gold ahead of the Indian. The bronze medal was claimed by Korea's Hyunjo Yoo (65) who had the best round of the final day.

Asked what her medal means for golf in India, Aditi said, "I do think it means something for golf, and hopefully, it gets more support and recognition back home in India.

"Even the women's team, I think we finished fourth, one position off from a medal, and that's all positive."

She is hoping to translate her Hangzhou Games medal into Paris 2024 Olympics success.

"These type of events are so different from regular golf tournaments. Just being able to have a good performance, living in the athletes' village, playing on a course I've never played before … hopefully having this experience will translate to something good (in Paris), too," she said.

Having enjoyed a fine run in the first three days, Aditi faltered when it mattered the most. She started the final day with a clear lead of four shots but missed multiple putts to squander the advantage.

On shooting 77 in her final round, she said, "It wasn't a good day. I played bad. There's no way around saying it. But overall if I look at my four-day score it's pretty good. Seventeen under; at the start of the week I would have taken that.

"It's just that when you shoot five over on the last day it doesn't feel as good.

"You're never totally happy unless you win so I'm not too happy right now. I'm sure some day I'll look back and think it was a good week but silver is not better than gold.

"When I got fourth in Tokyo (Olympic Games) I wasn't inconsistent like today. There, it was just four good rounds and somebody else was a few shots better. Today I kind of threw it away. I played five over. You see my previous three rounds and they were nothing like today.

"I shot my career-best round (61) yesterday and probably my worst of the year today. I just had a few bad swings. I missed a lot of fairways too, which didn't help," she said.

In the men's section, Hong Kong's Taichi Kho (62-60-70-69) was 27-under as he held on to his third-round lead to win gold. Korea's PGA Tour winner, Sungjae Im (66-65-66-65) took silver at 26-under. Taipei's Chien-Yao Hung (65-63-67-69) at 24-under won bronze.

The 25-year-old Aditi, who had rounds of 67-65-61 on the first three days, crashed from overnight 22-under to 17-under in the final round.

In contrast her playing partner, Arpichaya Yubol of Thailand, compiled a superb 68 in difficult scoring conditions on a day, when just two players carded below 70. Yubol (67-65-69-68), trailing Aditi by seven shots, rose from 15-under to 19-under and beat Aditi by two shots.

Korea's Hyunjo Yoo (68-73-66-65) at 16-under finished third for the bronze medal as she raced past a bunch of better-known names with six birdies on the back nine in her round of 7-under 65.

Korea won the team gold with a massive margin of 25 shots as they totalled 74-under, with Thailand (51-under) and Hong Kong (50-under) finishing second and third respectively.

The fancied Chinese finished sixth.

Meanwhile in the men's team, Anirban Lahiri showed recovery after being hit by the heat, as he shot 68 in the final round, but his teammates were way off. Lahiri was the top Indian at T-12, while the team was seventh.

Overall, Korea was the only team to figure among medals in all four sections.

For India, it was fourth individual medal in golf with Lakshman Singh and Shiv Kapur winning the gold in the 1982 and 2002 editions and Rajiv Mohta claiming a silver in New Delhi. An Indian squad comprising Lakshman, Rajiv, Rishi Narain and Amit Luthra had won the team gold in 1982, while the country also won two team silver medals in 2006 and 2010 editions at Doha and Guangzhou.

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