Leona Maguire and Aditi and her Dad, Ashok on the bag. Pic: Courtesy LPGA
Fort Myers, Florida, US, Feb 6: Aditi Ashok logged a career-best 9-under 63 as she shot from the cutline to T-15 in the third and final round of the LPGA Drive On Championship.
Needing just 23 putts to go through the round, Aditi holed nine birdies and had no bogeys. There was a point, when most of the leaders had not even begun as Aditi rose up the leader board to as high as Tied-third, but finished T-15 as the others came into play. After a T-13 in her previous start, Aditi is showing solid form and could well break through this season for her maiden title on the LPGA.
On the day before her mother’s birthday Ireland’s Leona Maguire (67) gave her mother a birthday present a day early by becoming the first woman golfer from her country to win on the LPGA Tour. Finishing in solo second was 11-time LPGA Tour winner Lexi Thompson.
Aditi, who shot 72-71 in the first two rounds, needed a birdie on her last hole of the second round, to make the cut. On the final day she was on fire.
“I was putting really good,” Ashok told the LPGA. “I made almost everything. Every chance I got, I made the putt, which was great.”
“I wasn’t hitting it as good as I wanted to,” Ashok said on Saturday. “I feel like I was not in control most of the time, so I was holing like 10-, 20-footers. Still, the putting worked, so it was a good day.”
“I think I was kind of playing with a draw. Well, I was calling it a hook, but my dad was being nice. He was calling it a draw,” Ashok said. “I was turning the ball right-to-left a lot. After a couple holes I was just like, ‘I have to play with it today.’ I think it worked well.”
Maguire shot a final-round 67 to cruise into the winner’s circle. Her 198 ties her career-best 54-hole score, last recorded at the 2021 Pelican Women’s Championship.
Sarah Schmelzel made six birdies in her final seven holes to jump up into third at 14-under. Five players tied for fourth at 13-under, including Brittany Altomare.
Apart from Aditi, Xiyu Lin also shot a career-best 63. Xiyu finished T-45.