Olympic golf: Narrow miss for Aditi Ashok as she finishes fourth

Tokyo:- There was heartbreak for Indian golfer Aditi Ashok as she narrowly missed the bronze medal in the women’s individual strokeplay competition at the Tokyo Olympics, finishing fourth with an aggregate score of 15-under 269 on Saturday.

The final round of the women’s golf event resumed on Saturday amidst concerns about the weather. With the leaders having two holes left to complete, a passing thunderstorm caused a 49-minute interruption in the proceedings.

Aditi, who was placed second going into Saturday’s fourth and final round, shot a three-under 68 on a weather-affected day which otherwise was historic for the Indian golfer as she attracted a lot of attention after she had finished 41st at the Rio Olympics five years ago.

In the final round, she fired five birdies — on the 5th, 6th, 8th, 13th and 14th holes. She also had two bogeys, on the 9th and 11th holes.

Speaking to the International Golf Federation (IGF) on her thought process throughout the final day on Saturday, Aditi said, “Going into the round, I didn’t think about it much, it was fine, but obviously coming in I tried my best to like hole the last few putts and just knowing because in a regular tournament whether you finish second or fourth it really doesn’t matter, no one cares.

“But like at this event you need to be in the Top-3. I didn’t leave anything out there; I think I gave it my hundred per cent, but, yeah, fourth at an Olympics where they give out three medals kind of sucks.”

Aditi was second overnight before the start of the fourth round, three strokes behind the leader. At the end of the 17th hole, the 23-year-old was in contention for a medal finish. But she dropped to finish fourth at the Kasumigaseki Country Club. Aditi’s fourth place is the best-ever finish by an Indian golfer at the Olympics.

“I think today I didn’t really drive the ball very good and then it’s hard to get birdie putts or hit greens when you’re not in the fairway. So, yeah, that was definitely the hardest part to make a score today,” said Aditi on her performance after the competition ended.

Nelly Korda of the US, the world’s top-ranked woman golfer, clinched the gold medal with a score of 17-under 267. Japan’s Mone Inami edged New Zealand’s Ko Lydia in the silver-medal playoff. Both Mone and Ko had shared the second spot, a stroke behind at 268.

Aditi’s compatriot from India, Diksha Dagar, finished tied-50th in the 60-member field with a combined six-over. The debutant at the Olympics carded 1-under in the final round with four birdies and three bogeys.