Indian golfer Aditi Ashok missed out on a podium finish at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as she finished fourth in women’s individual stroke play.
By the end of Round 3 on Friday, Aditi was in the second spot, but dropped down to third on Saturday with 12-under. By the end of the session, she had a combined score of 15-under and fell just a stroke off playing for the silver medal playoff.
Nevertheless, Aditi Ashok’s effort of a fourth-place finish is the highest any Indian golfer has ever finished at the Olympics. It comes as a major improvement after she could only muster a 41st-place finish in Rio 2016.
“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,” she said after finishing fourth.
In the final round on Saturday, Aditi hit five birdies -- on the 5th, 6th, 8th, 13th and 14th holes -- against two bogeys on the 9th and 11th. The 23-year-old was in medal contention for most parts of the day, but those two bogeys pulled her out of the top three. New Zealand’s Lydia Ko capitalized and raced ahead with nine birdies, pushing Aditi down to the fourth spot.
“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,” she added.
“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.”
USA’s Nelly Korda, world no. 1, finished first to win the gold medal. Japan’s Mone Inami and Lydia Ko played the silver medal playoff and the latter had to settle for a bronze.
Meanwhile, another Indian in the fray, Diksha Dagar, finished tied-50th. It was nonetheless a learning experience for the 20-year-old who qualified for Tokyo 2020 after South Africa’s Paula Reto decided to withdraw and Austria declined to make a reallocation for their golfer Sarah Schober.
Featured photo: IGF