Aditi Ashok off to a good start in Founders Cup on LPGA

Aditi Ashok. Filepic.

May 12: Aditi Ashok who grabbed a lot of attention with a superb second place after getting into a play-off got to a fine start at the Cognizant Founders Cup with a round of 3-under 69 that put her in Tied-12th place and was three shots behind the leader, the Republic of Korea’s Sei Young Kim (66) in Clifton, New Jersey.

Aditi, who has been on the LPGA Tour since 2017, but is still searching for her first win on the Tour, however has four wins on the Ladies European Tour, including one this year.

Aditi started on the back nine of the Upper Montclair Country Club and opened with a birdie on the 10th, to which she added another one on the 13th. A dropped shot on 16th saw her turn in one-under. She fell to even par with a second bogey on the first. Then she roared back with three birdies on second, third and seventh and did not drop any more shots for a round of 69 on a course that has narrow fairways and demands a lot of accuracy off the tees.

Aditi found the fairways only 50 per cent, but played well with the irons, finding 14 of the 18 greens and needing 29 putts.

This season in four starts, Aditi missed the cut in the first three but finished second last fortnight. On the LET she has won once, finished second once and once she was third and leads the LET rankings.

Sei Young Kim shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 to take the first-round lead. She  had four straight birdies — on the par-5 12th, par-4 13th, par-5 14th and par-3 15th — and parred the final three holes.

The 30-year-old South Korean player, the 2016 tournament winner in Phoenix, has 12 LPGA Tour titles — the last two in 2020.

South Korean rookie Hae Ran Ryu was a stroke back. She had eight birdies and three bogeys in a 67.

A bunch of nine players carded 4-under 68 to be tied third, while Aditi with 69 was T-12 along with 12 others in what was a very tight leader board. Ryu made eight birdies and three bogeys.

Defending champion Minjee Lee was at 68 with 2019 and 2021 winner Jin Young Ko, 2013 champion Stacy Lewis, Nasa Hataoka, Atthaya Thitikul, Peiyun Chien, Cheyenne Knight, Maddie Szeryk and Hye-Jin Cho.


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