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4-min read

Golf Prodigy Aditi Ashok Targets Majors in 2017, Says 2016 Was a Dream Year

Aditi Ashok is all of 18 years in age, but she is already being touted by many to become the next big thing in Indian golf and may be, beyond.

Amit Kumar | News18.comamitkumar104

Updated:December 29, 2016, 2:26 PM IST
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Golf Prodigy Aditi Ashok Targets Majors in 2017, Says 2016 Was a Dream Year
File photograph of golfer Aditi Ashok (Getty Images)

New Delhi: Aditi Ashok is all of 18 years in age, but she is already being touted by many to become the next big thing in Indian golf and may be, beyond. A promising talent for long, 2016 was the year when Aditi's performance on the greens made everyone get up and take notice.

Among the big achievements, Aditi created history by becoming the first Indian to win a Ladies European Tour title, when she triumphed at the 2016 Hero Women's Indian Open.

She collected her second win a couple of weeks later at the Qatar Ladies Open and ended the season in the second spot on the Order of Merit, also bagging the Rookie of the Year award in the process.

Aditi spoke exclusively with News18.com through an e-mail interview about her achievements in 2016. Here's a first person account of the same.

About My Game This Season

I had a slow start to the season as I was finishing my high school exams and I only played in 4 tournaments in the first five months of the year. I feel my game got better as I played in more tournaments and that’s why I performed really well towards the end of the season. I had four consecutive top tens before winning back to back and I also had a top three in the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters which was a nice finish to my season.

About Hero Women's Indian Open Win

It was my goal to win in my rookie season and so it was a special week for me. Also it was my sixth appearance at the Hero Women's Indian Open but my first as a professional. I had some good finishes in past, (two top 15’s and a top 10), as an amateur, so I wanted to better that as a professional and I did, so it was great. It was also good to win in my home event. I had a lot of people following me because I was an Olympian and to have won in front of home crowds felt good.

About Qatar Ladies Open Win

I am really happy that I won back to back on the LET. Although I won the Hero Women’s Indian Open, I felt that my game could have been a lot better. And I did play much better in Qatar, all four sub par rounds which was good.

About Rio Olympics

Qualifying for the Rio Olympics was my goal from 2012 and so I made a lot of individual effort to plan my schedules and play in professional events which counted for the World Rankings.

I was one of the last few players entering the field for Rio but after two days I was in the top 3 at the Olympics, which had some of the best players in the world. Olympics was huge for India as the masses woke up to golf in general and women’s golf in particular as a sport. For me it was just like any other tournament where I prepared and tried to do my best that week. It was a great experience for me and I cant wait for the next Olympics to come around.

After the Olympics I think golf in general and women’s golf in particular became very famous in India. A lot of people are now aware of the sport and want to follow it and maybe even try it out. I think this was the main reason golf was introduced in the Olympics - to make it more popular all over the world.

About finishing second on the LET Order of Merit

I had a great rookie season on the Ladies European Tour and two wins, which were thrilling. I had seven top tens out of the thirteen tournaments I played on the LET. I got to play in my first major – the Ricoh Women’s British Open, and it was a great experience for me. I wish I could have performed better at the British Open but my season was good and I am happy.

About winning Rookie of the Year on LET

It was my goal to win Rookie of the Year as well. I was playing really good through the year and I was consistently in the top ten giving myself chances to be in winning positions. I knew it was only a matter of time before my game came together and I played four good consistent rounds in one week. Winning back to back obviously helped me seal the title and it feels great to be Rookie of the Year.

Goals for 2017

It will be my Rookie season on the LPGA and I have conditional status, so that should get me into a few tournaments next year. My goal is to play well in as many events that I can get into. But with my performance on the LET in 2016 I should be able to play in a few majors as well and that will be my main focus – to perform well at the majors. I will still compete on the LET and play in as many events as I can because I enjoy playing in different parts of the world and playing on new courses.

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| Edited by: Arnab Sen
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