Aditi Ashok dazzles at Dubai Classic golf with tied-sixth finish

Ashok was the only one to finish with an under-par score out of four Indian golfers.

By Rahul Venkat

Indian golfer Aditi Ashok carded an aggregate eight-under 208 to finish tied-sixth on the Ladies European Tour’s (LET) Dubai Moonlight Classic, the world’s first day-night Tour event, on Friday.

Aditi’s effort was just two shots off eventual winner Minjee Lee of Australia. It was an incredible effort in what was the Rio 2016 Olympian’s first tournament since the NW Arkansas Championship in August.

Aditi Ashok was rusty to begin with, carding no birdies in a first-round three-over 75. However, she hit her stride in the next round.

Aditi scored four birdies in the second round to end with a three-under 69. She continued her ascent with a terrific third-round 64, the second-best effort of the field.

The 23-year-old Aditi Ashok began with two pars and then carded four consecutive birdies on the first six holes of the day. She then scored another birdie on the par-3 eighth to end the front nine five-under.

The back nine of the course saw Aditi card consecutive birdies on the 12th and 13th holes before an excellent eagle on the par-5 16th. A bogey on the 17th then dropped her out of the top three but it ensured that she finished in the top ten.

The three other Indian golfers in the field – Tvesa Malik, Diksha Dagar and Astha Madan endured mixed outings at the Dubai Moonlight Classic. It was the first time that four Indian golfers were playing in an LET event.

The 25-year-old Tvesa Malik, who has enjoyed a fine season – recording her first top-20 finish outside India – was the best-placed Indian golfer after Aditi Ashok at tied-27th. Lefty Diksha Dagar’s 11-over score placed her tied-48th.

Meanwhile, Astha Madan, who was playing her first event on the LET since the season resumed, finished tied-52nd after a disappointing 16-over aggregate.