Aditi putts superbly to shoot 67, lies second in Hawaii

Aditi Ashok. File Pic

April 14: Aditi Ashok indicated she is ready to make a bid for her breakthrough win on the Ladies PGA Tour as she opened the LPGA Lotte Championship in Hawaii with a fluent 5-under 67 that placed her second and one shot behind Hannah Green (66) at the breezy Hoakalei Country Club in Hawaii. It is the first time the venue is hosting this tournament.

The day saw nearly 30-mph winds well but both Hannah and Aditi were among those who handled the winds well.

Other than Aditi the other lying second were Gemma Dryburgh, Hyo Joo Kim, Alison Lee and Jodi Ewart Shadoff at -5. Defending champion Lydia Ko shot -3 and is tied for 11th.

Aditi, fourth at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, started 2022 with a couple of superb Top-15 results before slipping slightly. She did make the cut in two of her next three starts, including the first women’s Major of the year, the Chevron Championship, where she ended T-71.

However, in Hawaii, her short game was once again looking great as she had six birdies against one lone. Bogey. She picked  birdies in a bunch as she had three in a row from second to fourth and then again back-to-back gains on 17-18 and in between she birdied the eighth. Her lone bogey was on 11th.

The addition of a new Hybrid to her bag seems to be working well. She found 12 of the 14 fairways and 12 of the 18 greens. Her short game was great and she needed just 25 putts to shoot 67.

Australian Hannah Green shot a 6-under 66 to take the lead after the first round. Green had eight birdies, including five on the front nine. She hit 11 of 14 fairways, 14 of 18 greens in regulation and needed just 26 putts. She has two Tour titles, both won in 2019 at the major KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and the Cambia Portland Classic.

Jennifer Kupcho, who won The Chevron Championship two weeks ago, finished at two-over over after playing holes 13-15 at 4-over par.

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