18-year-old Aditi Ashok made history on Sunday as she became the first Indian to win the Hero Women’s India Open golf tournament held at The DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurgaon. This victory also means that she has become the first Indian to ever win on the Ladies European Tour.
Aditi, who turned professional earlier this year, started playing in this tournament as an amateur since she was 13 in 2011 and was the leading amateur last year.
“It feels good because I was playing well all year round. I had four top-10s but I was never able to get all my rounds good together. I sort of did that here, I was really good in the front nine and made couple of mistakes in the back nine but it was good,” said a delighted Aditi, moments after sinking her final putt at the 18th hole.
She added, “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 home crowd. It means a lot to win this,” said Aditi, who ended with a 54-hole total of three-under-par 213, one stroke ahead of Brittany Lincicome and Belen Mozo.
The Bangalore-based winner took home a cheque for $60,000 and a Hero Pleasure scooter as rewards for her victory on Sunday.
Starting the day with a two stroke cushion, Aditi was locked in an intense battle with Belen Mozo as they remained neck and neck through the final few holes. Meanwhile, two-time major winner Brittany Lincicome reached the clubhouse at two under, to sit in as the clubhouse leader.
Eventually, it took a fine birdie on the 18th to seal victory for Aditi. The young girl from Bengaluru left her approach a tad left, but the ball landed on a ridge just on the edge of the green and rolled nicely towards the pin.
Belen could have forced a playoff, but left her birdie putt agonisingly short of the cup to surrender victory to her young opponent. Incidentally, it was Belen’s brother Jesus, who was on the bag this week for Aditi.
“When the back nine started I knew the scores on pretty much every hole and was trying to make as many birdies as I could. I missed quite a few birdie chances on the front and back nine, but luckily I birdied the 18th,” said the Olympic golfer.