Aditi Ashok enjoys strong finish at NW Arkansas golf

The Indian golfer was in her element as she carded a two-under 69 in the final round to share the 49th spot at the Pinnacle Country Club.

By Naveen Peter

Having shown her quality at the NW Arkansas Championships, top Indian golfer Aditi Ashok finished tied-49th on the leaderboard after a good final round on Sunday.

The Indian came into the final round tied-28 after some quality show at the Pinnacle Country Club and it was no different on Sunday as she picked up from where she’d left to return a cumulative score of seven-under 206 (69, 68, 69).

Meanwhile, American Austin Ernst came up with an inspired show to win the NW Arkansas Championships, her second LPGA Tour title, with a fine 8-under 63 for a two-stroke victory.

Aditi Ashok finished tied-49 at the NW Arkansas Championships. Photo: LET

Aggressive start

Having enjoyed a fine outing at the course over the past two years, Aditi Ashok knew the only way to stay in contention for the lead was to be aggressive from the first swing.

And her game was no different as the Indian golfer wasted no time scoring a bridie on the third. But a bogey on the par-four fifth saw her drop down.

“I think I was hitting it well over the past few days and I figured that out yesterday because I hit all 18 greens,” she told LPGA following her round.

“So, coming in today, I knew I could just trust my numbers and go for the flags because this is a golf course where you have to be aggressive.”

Though she lost some steam towards the close, missing the fairways quite often, Aditi Ashok did her best to score birdies on the 12th and the 14th to finish with a round of two-under 69.

Meanwhile, the 28-year-old Austin Ernst had no such trouble as she trusted her irons throughout to manage the best score of the day by making 10 birdies and two bogeys to join Stacy Lewis as the only other American winner of the competition.

“I knew I needed a really low score,” Austin Ernst said after her win. 

“I kind of thought at the beginning of the week that 20 under would win and I think that’s what I got to, so guess I was right on that one. 

“But you knew that out here you needed to attack and you couldn't be afraid and couldn't just kind of middle-the-green it all day,” admitted the 28-year-old, who took home the winner’s cheque for the first time since 2014.

What’s next on the LPGA Tour

The golfers on the Tour will head for the second Major of the year with the ANA Inspiration being held at Rancho Mirage, California from September 10.